Mike Beebe

Last updated

Mike Beebe
FEMA - 34604 - Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe in the field (cropped).jpg
45th Governor of Arkansas
In office
January 9, 2007 January 13, 2015
Lieutenant Bill Halter
Mark Darr
Preceded by Mike Huckabee
Succeeded by Asa Hutchinson
54th Arkansas Attorney General
In office
January 3, 2003 January 9, 2007
GovernorMike Huckabee
Preceded by Mark Pryor
Succeeded by Dustin McDaniel
Personal details
Mickey Dale Beebe

(1946-12-28) December 28, 1946 (age 72)
Amagon, Arkansas, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Ginger Beebe
Education Arkansas State University, Jonesboro (BA)
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (JD)
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Branch/serviceFlag of the United States Army (official proportions).svg  United States Army
Years of service1968–1974
Unit United States AR seal.svg United States Army Reserve

Mickey Dale Beebe (born December 28, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 45th Governor of Arkansas from 2007 to 2015. [1]

Arkansas State of the United States of America

Arkansas is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2018. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.


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.

Amagon, Arkansas Town in Arkansas, United States

Amagon is a town in Jackson County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 98 at the 2010 census.

Arkansas State University public university in Arkansas, United States

Arkansas State University is a public research university in Jonesboro, Arkansas. It is the flagship campus of the Arkansas State University System and the second largest university by enrollment. It was founded in 1909 and is located atop 1,376 acres (5.6 km2) on Crowley's Ridge. Arkansas State has Sun Belt rivalries with all West Division schools. Their primary Sun Belt rivals are Little Rock, Louisiana-Monroe, and Louisiana.

Jonesboro, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Jonesboro is a city located on Crowley's Ridge in the northeastern corner of the U.S. State of Arkansas. Jonesboro is one of two county seats of Craighead County and the home of Arkansas State University. According to the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 71,551 and is the fifth-largest city in Arkansas.

A member of the Democratic Party, 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. Beebe, who was restricted from running in the 2014 election due to term limits, left office on January 13, 2015.

Democratic Party (United States) political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States.

Asa Hutchinson 46th Governor of Arkansas

William Asa Hutchinson II is an American businessman, attorney, and politician, serving as the 46th Governor of Arkansas since 2015. Previously he was U.S. Attorney for the Fort Smith-based Western District of Arkansas, U.S. Congressman from the Third District of Arkansas, Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the first Undersecretary for Border & Transportation Security at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Beebe currently serves on the Governors’ Council of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC and has endorsed Medicaid work requirements since leaving office. [2]

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a Washington, D.C.–based think tank that actively promotes bipartisanship. The organization combines the best ideas from both the Republican and Democratic parties to address the nation's key challenges. BPC focuses on a range of issues including health, energy, national security, the economy, housing, immigration, infrastructure, governance, and education.

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. [3]

Jackson County, Arkansas County in the United States

Jackson County is located in the Arkansas Delta in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The county is named for Andrew Jackson, a national hero during the War of 1812. By the county's formation in 1829, Jackson had become the seventh President of the United States. Jackson County is home to seven incorporated towns and four incorporated cities, including Newport, the largest city and county seat. The county is also the site of numerous unincorporated communities and ghost towns. Occupying 633.94 square miles (164,190 ha), Jackson County is the 41st largest county of the 75 in Arkansas. As of the 2010 Census, the county's population is 17,997 people in 7,601 households. Based on population, the county is the 40th-largest county in Arkansas. Although terrain rises in the west, most of Jackson County is within the Arkansas Delta, characterized by largely flat terrain with fertile soils. Historically covered in forest, bayous and swamps, the area was cleared for agriculture by early settlers. It is drained by the White River.

Alamogordo, New Mexico City in New Mexico, United States

Alamogordo is the seat of Otero County, New Mexico, United States. A city in the Tularosa Basin of the Chihuahuan Desert, it is bordered on the east by the Sacramento Mountains and to the west by Holloman Air Force Base. The population was 30,403 as of the 2010 census. Alamogordo is known for its connection with the Trinity test, the first explosion of an atomic bomb.

New Mexico State of the United States of America

New Mexico is a state in the Southwestern region of the United States of America; its capital and cultural center is Santa Fe, which was founded in 1610 as capital of Nuevo México, while its largest city is Albuquerque with its accompanying metropolitan area. It is one of the Mountain States and shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and Arizona; its other neighboring states are Oklahoma to the northeast, Texas to the east-southeast, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua to the south and Sonora to the southwest. With a population around two million, New Mexico is the 36th state by population. With a total area of 121,592 sq mi (314,920 km2), it is the fifth-largest and sixth-least densely populated of the 50 states. Due to their geographic locations, northern and eastern New Mexico exhibit a colder, alpine climate, while western and southern New Mexico exhibit a warmer, arid climate.

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.

A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.

Political science is a social science which deals with systems of governance, and the analysis of political activities, political thoughts, and political behavior. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics which is commonly thought of as determining of the distribution of power and resources. Political scientists "see themselves engaged in revealing the relationships underlying political events and conditions, and from these revelations they attempt to construct general principles about the way the world of politics works."

Sigma Pi North American collegiate fraternity

Sigma Pi (ΣΠ) commonly known as Sig Pi is an international social collegiate fraternity founded in 1897 at Vincennes University. Sigma Pi Fraternity, International has chartered over 230 chapters with 116 currently active plus 5 additional colonies in the United States and Canada and is headquartered in Lebanon, Tennessee. Since its inception, the fraternity has initiated more than 100,000 men and has 6,000 undergraduate members.

After graduating from law school and passing the Arkansas Bar, Beebe entered private practice 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

After the incumbent senator from his newly redrawn district unexpectedly dropped out of the race, Beebe was left without a primary or general election opponent and was elected to the Arkansas State Senate in 1982, 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. [4]

Governor of Arkansas (2007–2015)



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. [4]

Beebe was sworn in as governor on January 9, 2007. [5] He was elected to the Democratic Governors Association Executive Committee for 2008–09. [4]


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.

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. [4]

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. [7]

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. [7]

Second term

Governor Beebe attended the groundbreaking for the Bella Vista Bypass with Ray LaHood and Mark Pryor in 2011 Gov. Beebe.jpg
Governor Beebe attended the groundbreaking for the Bella Vista Bypass with Ray LaHood and Mark Pryor in 2011

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." [8]

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. [9] 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. [10]

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. To become law, the proposal needed a two-thirds majority vote. The state's General Assembly, with Republicans in the majority, narrowly approved the three necessary bills to establish and finance the insurance program. [11]

Beebe did not see 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." [12]

On November 12, 2014, two months before the end of his term, Beebe said he intended to pardon his son for a 2003 felony drug possession conviction. [13]


In March 2015, Beebe joined the Roberts Law Firm PA of Little Rock. In December 2015, he was named to the board of directors for Tyson Foods. [1]

Electoral history

As Governor of Arkansas


Inauguration, Little Rock, Arkansas, January 9, 2007 Beebe inauguration.jpg
Inauguration, Little Rock, Arkansas, January 9, 2007
Arkansas Gubernatorial Election 2010
Democratic Mike Beebe (inc.) 503,336 64.42
Republican Jim Keet 262,76433.63
Green Jim Lendall 14,5131.86


Arkansas Gubernatorial Election 2006
Democratic Mike Beebe 422,198 55.3
Republican Asa Hutchinson 312,64441.0

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  1. 1 2 Barth, Jay. "Mickey Dale (Mike) Beebe (1946–)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  2. "Beebe defends Hutchinson's work requirement as 'pragmatic' politics". Talk Business & Politics. December 4, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  3. "ClarkCast 016 - The Importance of 2006". Securingamerica.com. July 24, 2006. Archived from the original on January 4, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Biography | Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe". Governor.arkansas.gov. January 9, 2007. Archived from the original on August 24, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  5. "Beebe Takes Oath", The Morning News, January 9, 2007.
  6. "2010 General Election & Non Partisan Judicial Runoff Election Statewide Results". Arkansas Secretary of State. November 15, 2010. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  7. 1 2 "Mike Beebe on the Issues". Ontheissues.org. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  8. Demillo, Andrew (January 6, 2011). "Beebe: Doubtful tax hike for roads could pass". BusinessWeek. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  9. DeMillo, Andrew (January 17, 2012). "Beebe proposes $163M increase in Arkansas budget". The Boston Globe.
  10. Demillo, Andrew (January 13, 2012). "Beebe calls for audit of Forestry Commission". Stuttgart Daily Leader. Archived from the original on January 28, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  11. Watts, J. (April 30, 2013). Arkansas approves Medicaid pilot. The Bond Buyer. Vol. 122 No. 82. Retrieved from http://www.bondbuyer.com
  12. Popular Governors, and Prospects for 2016, fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com, May 28, 2013; accessed November 15, 2014.
  13. Mike Beebe to pardon his own son, Kyle, yahoo.com; accessed November 15, 2014.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Mark Pryor
Attorney General of Arkansas
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
Succeeded by
Asa Hutchinson