Mike Beebe

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Mike Beebe
Governor Mike Beebe.jpg
45th Governor of Arkansas
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 9, 2007
Lieutenant Bill Halter
Mark Darr
Preceded by Mike Huckabee
Succeeded by Asa Hutchinson (Elect)
54th Attorney General of Arkansas
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 9, 2007
Governor Mike Huckabee
Preceded by Mark Pryor
Succeeded by Dustin McDaniel
Personal details
Born Mickey Dale Beebe
(1946-12-28) December 28, 1946 (age 67)
Amagon, Arkansas, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ginger Beebe
Children 3
Residence Governor's Mansion
Alma mater Arkansas State University, Jonesboro
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Religion Episcopalianism
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States AR seal.svg United States Army Reserve
Years of service 1968–1974

Mickey Dale "Mike" Beebe (born December 28, 1946) is an American politician and the 45th and current Governor of Arkansas. A member of the Democratic Party, Beebe has served as governor since 2007.

Born in Amagon, Arkansas, Beebe is a graduate of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Beebe entered private practice as an attorney before being elected to the Arkansas Senate in 1982. Beebe served five terms in the Arkansas Senate from 1983 to 2003 and served as President of the Senate during his last term. Beebe was elected Attorney General of Arkansas in 2002, where he served one term from 2003 to 2007.

Beebe ran for governor in 2006, winning in an uncontested Democratic primary and defeating former Representative Asa Hutchinson in the general election with 55% of the vote. Beebe was elected to a second term in 2010, defeating former State Senator Jim Keet with 65% of the vote. On November 12, 2014, Beebe said he intended to pardon his son for a 2003 felony drug possession conviction.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Beebe was born in Amagon, a small town in Jackson County, Arkansas. He was raised by his mother, a waitress, and never met his father. As a child, he moved often with his family. They lived in Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, Houston and Alamogordo, New Mexico. They returned to Newport, Arkansas, where Beebe graduated from high school at the age of seventeen in 1964.[2]

Beebe received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Arkansas State University in 1968, where he was a member of Sigma Pi fraternity. He earned his juris doctor from the University of Arkansas in 1972. Beebe served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1968-74.

After graduating from law school and passing the Arkansas Bar, Beebe entered private practiced in Searcy, Arkansas for ten years at Lightle, Beebe, Raney, Bell, and Hudgins; and was a member of the White County Bar and the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. Beebe also served on the Board of Trustees at Arkansas State University from 1974-79.

Early political career[edit]

In 1982, he was elected to the Arkansas State Senate, where he would serve for 20 years. He never faced an opponent in his twenty-year Senate career in which he became known as one of the most effective legislators based on his pragmatic deal-making ability. During his last session in the state senate, Beebe was elected president pro tempore of the body. In 2002, he was elected Arkansas Attorney General, a position he held for the four years prior to his election as governor.[3]

Governor of Arkansas[edit]

2006 election[edit]

On June 14, 2005, Beebe announced his candidacy for the Democratic Party's nomination to run for Governor of Arkansas. Beebe defeated former Republican Congressman and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chief Asa Hutchinson as well as the Green Party candidate and independent candidate Rod Bryan in the general election on November 7, 2006, capturing 55 percent of the vote.[3]

Beebe was sworn in as governor on January 9, 2007.[4] He was elected to the Democratic Governors Association Executive Committee for 2008–09.[3]

First term[edit]

In his official website, Beebe outlines some of the policies he has pursued during his first term. He has outlined a plan for a balanced budget and attempted to cut middle class taxes by slashing in half the percentage of the state's grocery tax and increasing the Homestead Property Tax Credit, which can provide for the lowering of property taxes.[3]

Beebe has focused heavily on education reform. He has called for an additional $19 million per year to be spent on assisting special needs students and has designed a program that attempts to increase the quality of teachers within Arkansas by providing alternative pay and mentoring to motivate bright students to enter education or young teachers to work in struggling rural schools. Beebe has rejected calls to allow for Social Security private accounts to be established. He has also made plans to phase out the tax on utilities for manufacturers.[5]

He outlined a 12-point plan to make health care more accessible and affordable. Some of his proposals include using federal tax credits to make private insurance cheaper, promote the expansion of Medicaid, advocating preventive care to stop health concerns before they grow worse, expanding school health clinics, and using home or community based cares as an alternative to nursing homes.[5]

2010 election[edit]

Beebe was challenged by Republican nominee Jim Keet, a former state legislator from Little Rock. Beebe defeated Keet 64% to 34%[6] Despite the rise of the Tea party movement that year, Beebe won with more votes than any Arkansas Governor of either party since four-year terms were introduced, winning all 75 counties in the state.

Second term[edit]

In January 2011, he said that he supported a tax increase for highway funding saying "If they pass a tax increase for highways and it was reasonable, I'd sign it. I don't think it's going to happen."[7]

In January 2012, he proposed a $163 million funding increase in a $4.7 billion state budget. He called for $117 million increase in the Human Services Department and a $56 million increase in public schools.[8] He also called for an audit of the state's Forestry Commission's finances after a $4 million shortfall and a layoff of 36 workers.[9]

In the 2012 midterm elections, Republicans gained control of both houses of the General Assembly for the first time since 1874 after making major gains two years earlier. This made Beebe the first Democratic Governor of Arkansas ever to face a Republican-controlled legislature. The GOP margin was 21 to 14 in the Senate, and 51 to 48 in the House (with one Green). In his 2013 State of the State address, Beebe made a comprehensive case for Medicaid expansion. In April 2013, Beebe signed into law Arkansas's "private option" to use federal Medicaid money to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents.[citation needed]

Beebe hasn't seen his approval rating slip below 70 percent at any point during his tenure, according to yearly polls from the University of Arkansas. According to the FiveThirtyEight Blog, "[Beebe's] crossover appeal — and the recent history in Arkansas of producing a popular Democratic president — might suggest Mr. Beebe, who will be term-limited in 2014, would be among the more talked-about 2016 contenders."[10]

Personal life[edit]

Beebe and his wife, Ginger, have three children and seven grandchildren.

Electoral history[edit]

Inauguration, Little Rock, Arkansas, January 9, 2007
Arkansas Gubernatorial Election 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Mike Beebe (incumbent) 503,336 64.42
Republican Jim Keet 262,764 33.63
Green Jim Lendall 14,513 1.86
Arkansas Gubernatorial Election 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Mike Beebe 422,198 55.3
Republican Asa Hutchinson 312,644 41.0


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mike Beebe to pardon his own son, Kyle, yahoo.com; accessed November 15, 2014.
  2. ^ "ClarkCast 016 - The Importance of 2006". Securingamerica.com. 2006-07-24. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Biography | Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe". Governor.arkansas.gov. 2007-01-09. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  4. ^ "Beebe Takes Oath", The Morning News, January 9, 2007.
  5. ^ a b "Mike Beebe on the Issues". Ontheissues.org. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  6. ^ "2010 General Election & Non Partisan Judicial Runoff Election Statewide Results". Arkansas Secretary of State. November 15, 2010. Retrieved November 15, 2010. 
  7. ^ Demillo, Andrew (2011-01-06). "Beebe: Doubtful tax hike for roads could pass". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  8. ^ DeMillo, Andrew (January 17, 2012). "Beebe proposes $163M increase in Arkansas budget". The Boston Globe. 
  9. ^ Demillo, Andrew (2012-01-13). "Beebe calls for audit of Forestry Commission". Stuttgart Daily Leader. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  10. ^ Popular Governors, and Prospects for 2016, fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com, May 28, 2013; accessed November 15, 2014.

External links[edit]

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