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 byBeryl Anthony, Jr.
Succeeded byMike Ross
Personal details
Jay Woodson Dickey Jr.

(1939-12-14)December 14, 1939
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, U.S.
DiedApril 20, 2017(2017-04-20) (aged 77)
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Betty Clark (div 1987)
ChildrenJohn, Laura, Ted, and Rachel
EducationPine Bluff High School
Alma materHendrix College
University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
University of Arkansas School of Law

Jay Woodson Dickey Jr. (December 14, 1939 – April 20, 2017), was a Republican U.S. Representative for Arkansas' 4th congressional district from 1993 to 2001. The amendment known as the Dickey Amendment (1996) blocks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from funding injury prevention research that might promote gun control, and the Dickey-Wicker Amendment (1995) prohibits federal funds to be spent on research that involves the destruction of a human embryo. After the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting, former congressman Dickey said that he regretted his role in blocking the CDC from researching gun violence.

Education and early career[edit]

Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Dickey graduated from Pine Bluff High School in 1957; after attending Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1961 from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. In 1963, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law.[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]

On November 3, 1992, the same day as Clinton's election as U.S. President, Dickey defeated Arkansas Secretary of State William J. "Bill" McCuen, described as a "scandal-plagued Democratic nominee".[2] The first Republican to hold this House seat, he was re-elected three times. He 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, whose research on firearm injuries and fatalities was deemed motivated by pro gun-control politics, rather than 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. Then House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois came into the district in a bid to save Dickey's seat, while President Clinton poured massive resources 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, Colorado, Dickey publicly reversed his position on gun violence research. He said that he should not have become "the NRA’s point person in Congress" to suppress valid and valuable work. He called for new scientific research in the field.[6]


Dickey died on April 20, 2017, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease [7]

Electoral history[edit]

The following are the electoral results from the Arkansas's 4th congressional district for 1992–2002.[8]

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. ^ Former Arkansas Congressman Jay Dickey dies
  8. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 2007-07-25. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
U.S. 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