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Mike Beebe

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Mike Beebe

Mike Beebe
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
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 Episcopalian
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch 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.[6]

Early life and education

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.[7]

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

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

2006 election

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.[8] He was elected to the Democratic Governors Association Executive Committee for 2008–09.[3]

First term

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 [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 [5]

2010 election

Beebe was challenged by Republican nominee Jim Keet, a former state legislator from Little Rock. Beebe defeated Keet 64% to 34%[9] 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

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."[10]

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.[11] 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.[12]

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.

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."[13]

Personal life

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

Electoral history

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

References

  1. ^ . November 2014. 

External links

  • Governor of Arkansas official government website
  • First Lady of Arkansas official government website
  • Mike Beebe at DMOZ
Articles
  • Mike Beebe at the Encyclopedia for Arkansas
Legal offices
Preceded by
Mark Pryor
Attorney General of Arkansas
2003–2007
Succeeded by
Dustin McDaniel
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jimmie Lou Fisher
Democratic nominee for Governor of Arkansas
2006, 2010
Succeeded by
Mike Ross
Political offices
Preceded by
Mike Huckabee
Governor of Arkansas
2007–present
Succeeded by
Asa Hutchinson
Elect
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Joe Biden
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Arkansas
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise John Boehner
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jay Nixon
as Governor of Missouri
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Arkansas
Succeeded by
Rick Snyder
as Governor of Michigan
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