Jay Dickey

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Jay Dickey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Beryl Anthony, Jr.
Succeeded by Mike Ross
Personal details
Born Jay Woodson Dickey, Jr.
(1939-12-14) December 14, 1939 (age 76)
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Political party Republican

Jay Woodson Dickey, Jr. (born December 14, 1939) is a former U.S. Representative from the Fourth Congressional District of Arkansas. He served in Congress from 1993 to 2001. Both the Dickey Amendment (1996), which blocks CDC funds to be used for injury prevention research that might advocate or promote gun control, and the Dickey-Wicker Amendment (1995), which prohibits federal funds to be spent on research that involves the destruction of a human embryo, are named for him. After the 2012 Aurora shooting, former congressman Dickey said that he regrets his role in blocking the CDC from researching gun violence.

Education and early career[edit]

Dickey, born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, graduated from Pine Bluff High School in 1957; after attending Hendrix College, he got his B.A. (1961) and his J.D. (1963) from the University of Arkansas.[1] He began his career in law in private practice, and later served as city attorney of Pine Bluff from 1968 to 1970.[1]

In 1988 then-Governor Bill Clinton appointed Dickey as a special justice for a case before the Arkansas Supreme Court.[1]

Political career[edit]

Dickey, beating Secretary of State William J. "Bill" McCuen, described as a "scandal-plagued Democratic nominee",[2] was elected United States Representative for the Fourth District of Arkansas—the first Republican to be elected to the seat—on November 3, 1992. He was re-elected three times, and served on the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations, and five of its subcommittees:[citation needed] Agriculture, National Security, Energy and Water, Transportation and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

A Second Amendment rights advocate, in 1996 Dickey responded to a supposed bias[3] on the part of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), whose research on firearm injuries and fatalities in the US was seen to be motivated more by pro gun-control politics rather than pure science.[4] Dickey successfully passed an amendment to eliminate $2.6 million from the CDC budget, reflecting the amount the CDC had previously spent on gun research.[4]

The outspoken, controversial, and conservative Dickey saw his popularity decline in his overall moderate district. In 2000, he lost in his reelection campaign to the Democratic candidate Mike Ross in a close race. House Speaker Dennis Hastert came into the district in a bid to save Dickey's seat, while President Bill Clinton poured massive resources into the contest on behalf of Ross.[citation needed]

Dickey opposed Ross in 2002 in an attempt to return to his seat, but he was defeated, 60-40 percent.

Subsequent career[edit]

After leaving office, Dickey operated JD Consulting,[5] primarily a federal government lobbying firm, which represents clients' interest in children's health care, navigation and water, tax matters, homeland security, and roads.

Following the mass shooting in Aurora, CO, Dickey publicly reversed his position on gun violence research, regretting that he had served as "the NRA’s point person in Congress" to suppress valid and valuable work, and called for new scientific research in the field.[6]

Electoral history[edit]

The following are the electoral results from the Arkansas's 4th congressional district for 1992–2002.[7]

Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
1992 W. J. "Bill" McCuen 102,918 48% Jay Dickey 113,009 52%
1994 Jay Bradford 81,370 48% Jay Dickey 87,469 52%
1996 Vincent Tolliver 72,391 36% Jay Dickey 125,956 64%
1998 Judy Smith 68,194 42% Jay Dickey 92,346 58%
2000 Mike Ross 108,143 51% Jay Dickey 104,017 49%
2002 Mike Ross 119,633 61% Jay Dickey 77,904 39%


  1. ^ a b c United States Congress. "Jay Dickey (id: D000312)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  2. ^ "Republican Party". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  3. ^ "Reviving the CDC's Gun-Factoid Factory". National Review Online. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  4. ^ a b Luo, Michael (January 25, 2011). "N.R.A. Stymies Firearms Research". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-20. 
  5. ^ "Lobbying: JD Consulting". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  6. ^ "We won't know the cause of gun violence until we look for it". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-12-20. 
  7. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Beryl Anthony, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 4th congressional district

January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2001
Succeeded by
Mike Ross