Hayes McClerkin

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Hayes C. McClerkin
Speaker the Arkansas House of Representatives
In office
January 1, 1969 – December 31, 1970
Preceded by Sterling R. Cockrill
Succeeded by Ray S. Smith, Jr.
State Representative from Miller County (Texarkana)
In office
January 1, 1961 – December 31, 1970
Succeeded by David G. Orr
Personal details
Born (1931-12-16) December 16, 1931 (age 83)
Texarkana, Arkansas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lillian Riggs McClerkin
Children Martha, Katherine, Lauren McClerkin
Parents Hayes Candour and Orlean Malony McClerkin
Alma mater Washington and Lee University

University of Arkansas Law School

Profession Attorney;


Hayes C. McClerkin (born December 16, 1931) is a commercial and environmental law attorney in Texarkana, Arkansas,[1] who served as a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1961–1970 and as Speaker from 1969-1970. He succeeded Speaker Sterling R. Cockrill of Little Rock,[2] who in 1970 switched parties and ran as the unsuccessful Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.

McClerkin did not seek a sixth term in the House in 1970. Instead he ran in the Democratic gubernatorial primary election with the goal of challenging the GOP incumbent Winthrop Rockefeller. He finished fourth in the primary with 45,011 votes (10.5 percent). Attorney General Joe Purcell ran third with 81,566 votes (18.9 percent). The top two candidates, former Governor Orval E. Faubus of Huntsville in Madison County and Dale Bumpers of Charleston in Franklin County near Fort Smith led the field with 156,578 (36.4 percent) and 86,156 (20.0 percent), respectively. In the runoff election, Bumpers, using the "Time for a Change" theme, soundly defeated Faubus, 58.7 to 41.3 percent,[3] and then easily unseated Rockefeller in the general election. Thereafter McClerkin supported Bumpers for governor and also for the United States Senate, to which Bumpers was initially elected in 1974.

In the gubernatorial campaign, McClerkin challenged Rockefeller's "list" of college and university campus militants in Arkansas, prepared by a security investigator for the governor. McClerkin claimed that the list could be used to discredit persons "who may be guilty of no more than a disagreement with the governor."[4] The American Association of University Professors also condemned the list, and Rockefeller soon regreted that he had ever revealed its existence.[5] The list drew support from some conservatives who viewed it as a feasible way to halt troublemakers and traveling campus militants.[6] In the 1970 election, Sterling Cockrill switched parties and ran for lieutenant governor on Rockefeller's losing ticket.

A native of Texarkana, the seat of (Miller County, McClerkin is the only child of Hayes Candour McClerkin (1893–1942) and the former Orlean Malony (1893–1981), daughter of Ed and Jennie Malony of Monticello in Drew County in southeastern Arkansas. McClerkin is married to the former Lillian Riggs (born 1936), a 1958 graduate of the former women's college, Randolph College (formerly Randolph-Macon) of Lynchburg, Virginia. She is the daughter of John Albert Riggs and the former Martha Williamson. Hayes and Lillian McClerkin have three daughters, Martha, Katherine, and Lauren McClerkin.[7]

McClerkin is a boyhood friend of H. Ross Perot, the Texarkana native and Texas billionaire who ran for the American presidency in 1992 and 1996.[8]

McClerkin received his Bachelor of Science degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. He is the 1953 class agent for his alma mater.[9] In 1959, he received his L.L.B. degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law at Fayetteville. He is a member of Delta Theta Phi and the American and Arkansas bar associations.[1]

McClerkin is a member of the board of directors of Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance.[10] He is also the president of the Miller County Abstract Company.[11] He has remained somewhat politically active and was a donor to former U.S. Representative Mike Ross, a Democrat from Prescott who is also a native of Texarkana.[12]

In 2004, McClerkin published Shortcuts to Life's Secrets: The Collected Thoughts of Hayes McClerkin, which uses the theme: "Life is like a yo-yo with lots of ups and downs. The important thing is not to let the string break."[13]


  1. ^ a b "Hayes C. McClerkin". attorneyslisted.com. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ Confirmed by Kaye Donham, Office Manager, Arkansas House of Representatives
  3. ^ Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections (Washington, D.C., 2010), p. 1668
  4. ^ Arkansas Democrat, January 3, 1970
  5. ^ Arkansas Democrat, January 8, 1970
  6. ^ John L. Ward, The Arkansas Rockefeller (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1978), p. 167-168, 175
  7. ^ "Hayes C. McClerkin genealogy". familytreemaker.genealogy.com. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  8. ^ Furlong, Tom (June 10, 1992). "Perot as Hometown Hero: Just Don't Get in His Way". articles.latimes.com. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Washington and Lee University: Undergraduate Class Agents". wlu.edu. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Board of Directors of Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield". arkansasbluecross.com. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Miller County Abstract Company". millercountyabstract.com. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Texarkana Political Contributions by Individuals". city-data.com. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  13. ^ Hayes C. McClerkin, Shortcuts to Life's Secrets: The Collected Thoughts of Hayes McClerkin (Martinsburg, West Virginia: Mountain State Publishing, 2004) ISBN 0-9747005-3-3
Political offices
Preceded by
Sterling R. Cockrill
Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Ray S. Smith, Jr.