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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor is accusing his Republican challenger of misleading voters about whether he'd support shutting down the federal government if the GOP doesn't get its way on spending.

Pryor's campaign on Thursday cited a January interview in which Rep. Tom Cotton said Republicans have to be prepared to shut down the federal government. A Cotton spokeswoman said the congressman isn't advocating a government shutdown.

Cotton is the only Republican challenging Pryor as he seeks a third term next year. The GOP widely views Pryor as the most vulnerable Senate incumbent running next year.

Cotton and other Republicans say defunding the federal health care law should be a part of spending negotiations this fall, a move that critics say would almost certainly lead to a shutdown.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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