Democratic Party of Arkansas
|Democratic Party of Arkansas|
|Senate leader||Keith Ingram (politician)|
|House leader||Greg Leding|
|Headquarters||William A. Gwatney Democratic Headquarters
1300 W Capitol Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72201
|National affiliation||Democratic Party|
|Seats in the Upper House|
|Seats in the Lower House|
|Politics of the United States
The Democratic Party of Arkansas is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the state of Arkansas. It is responsible for promoting the ideologies and core values of the national Democratic Party in Arkansas.
Before Arkansas became a state on June 15, 1836, its politics was dominated by a small group commonly called "The Family" or "The Dynasty" until the American Civil War. The founder of this party was James Conway, who was inspired by the death of his older brother, Henry Conway. Henry Conway was killed in a duel, that took place on October 27, 1827, by Robert Crittenden, former friend, that soon became his political opposition. In an act to avenge his brother's death, he formed the first political party of Arkansas, "The Dynasty". Many of the members in this group were related by either blood or marriage, and thus how it received the name, "The Family". This group was closely allied with former President Andrew Jackson. Arkansas began its statehood with a strong Democratic dominance in politics. The Democratic Party won every election for governor until 1966, when Republican Winthrop Rockefeller won Governorship. Although the Democratic Party of Arkansas is not as dominant as it once was, it still has a strong presence in the state. Arkansas has traditionally had a two-party government, with the opponents of The Family being the Whigs, and the current opposition to the Democratic Party being the Republican Party. Historically the dominant party.
Gubernatorial elections in the State of Arkansas since 1941:
- Homer Martin Adkins Democrat 1941-1945
- Benjamin Travis Laney Democrat 1945-1949
- Sidney Sanders McMath Democrat 1949-1953
- Francis Cherry Democrat 1953-1955
- Orval Eugene Faubus Democrat 1955-1967
- Winthrop Rockefeller Republican 1967-1971
- Dale Bumpers Democrat 1971-1975
- David Pryor Democrat 1975- 1979
- Joe Purcell Democrat 1979-1979
- Bill Clinton Democrat 1979-1981
- Frank White Republican 1981-1983
- Bill Clinton Democrat 1983-1992
- Jim Guy Tucker Democrat 1992-1996
- Mike Huckabee Republican 1996-2007
- Mike Beebe Democrat 2007-present
Current elected officials
Members of Congress
- Governor: Mike Beebe
- Attorney General: Dustin McDaniel
- State Auditor: Charlie Daniels
- State Treasurer Charles Robinson
- Land Commissioner John Barns
- Senate Minority Leader: Keith Ingram
- House Minority Leader: Greg Leding
|This section relies on references to primary sources. (November 2011)|
The Democratic Party of Arkansas has a platform standing on the following principles: law and order with justice, every citizen, regardless of religion or race, is entitled to an equal voice in government. Also, it advocates equal opportunity, fairness and justice, and progressiveness. It not only promotes these standards, but also takes action to achieve them. With these principles comes a list of 52 rules. The platform is filled with values such as ethics, education, economic development and opportunity, agriculture, transportation and infrastructure, environment and energy, health care, social security/medicaid/medicare, taxes, military/veterans and nation's security, criminal justice, civil rights and civil liberties, and public service. Its position on these topics mirrors closely that of the national Democratic Party.
In 1978, then attorney general, Bill Clinton and wife Hillary Clinton were accused of being a part of a scandal with former friends and business partners, James McDougal and his wife, Susan McDougal. The couples planned on buying land in Marion County, Arkansas to build vacation homes for tourists, and those that just wanted to get away. However, the investment went bad, and both couples lost a numerous amount of money due to its failure. While Clinton was governor of Arkansas, questions about whether or not they properly paid taxes on the property, whether he extended favors to the loan and savings in exchange for campaign funds and whether McDougal may have illegally channeled funds from the savings and loans to the project arose. After charges were dropped against the Clintons, David Hale claimed that Clinton pressured him into giving them a $300,000 loan to finance the project.
- Democratic Party, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas history and culture.
- . "The Family", The Encyclopedia of Arkansas history and culture.
- White, Lonnie J. Politics on the Southwestern Frontier: Arkansas Territory, 1819-1836,. Memphis: Memphis State UP, 1964. Print.
- Moore, Waddy William. Arkansas in the Gilded Age, 1874-1900. Little Rock, AR: Rose Pub., 1976. Print.
- List of Governors of Arkansas
- Party platform