Tim Hutchinson

Last updated
1999) [1]
Randi Fredholm
(m. 2000)
Tim Hutchinson
Timothy Hutchinson, official Senate photo portrait.jpg
United States Senator
from Arkansas
In office
January 3, 1997 January 3, 2003
Children3, including Jeremy and Timothy
Relatives Asa Hutchinson (brother)
Kim Hendren (brother-in-law)
Jim Hendren (nephew)
Residence(s) Fort Smith, Arkansas, U.S. (1984–2003)
Alexandria, Virginia, U.S. (2003–present)
Education Bob Jones University (BA)
University of Arkansas (MA)

Young Timothy Hutchinson [3] (born August 11, 1949) is an American Republican politician, lobbyist, and former United States senator from the state of Arkansas.


Personal life

Hutchinson was born in Bentonville in northwestern Arkansas, the son of John Malcolm Hutchinson, Sr. (1907–91) and Coral Virginia (Mount) Hutchinson (1912–98). He was raised on the family farm in nearby Gravette. He graduated with a B.A. from Bob Jones University and received an M.A. in political science from the University of Arkansas (1990). [3]

He currently is a lobbyist and is a resident of Alexandria, Virginia. He is married to Randi Fredholm Hutchinson, an attorney in Washington, D.C. He was the first Republican to have been elected to the U.S. Senate in Arkansas since 1879.

Early political career

Hutchinson served in the Arkansas House of Representatives representing part of Fort Smith from 1985 to 1992. In 1992, he ran for the Republican nomination in Arkansas's 3rd congressional district after the popular 26-year incumbent John Paul Hammerschmidt announced his retirement. He defeated a fellow Republican state lawmaker Richard L. Barclay of Rogers, for the Republican nomination. He faced Democrat John VanWinkle, an attorney from Fayetteville, in the general election, and won by only 7,500 votes—a margin of five percent. He owed his victory to a 10,000-vote margin in his native Benton County. It was the second-closest margin in the 3rd, one of the most Republican districts in the South, which Hammerschmidt had represented since January 1967. The only closer race was in 1974, when Bill Clinton came within 6,300 votes of ousting Hammerschmidt. Clinton narrowly carried the 3rd in his successful run for President, a presumed factor in the closeness of the 1992 congressional race.

The district reverted to form in 1994, and Hutchinson was reelected with 63 percent of the vote.

United States Senator

1996 election

Hutchinson ran for the Senate seat being vacated by popular Democrat David Pryor in 1996. Initially, the leading Republican candidate was Lieutenant Governor Mike Huckabee. When Democratic Governor Jim Guy Tucker resigned after being convicted of mail fraud, however, Huckabee assumed the governorship and dropped out of the Senate race; [4] Hutchinson entered soon after and captured the Republican nomination. He would face state Attorney General Winston Bryant in the general election. Even though native son Bill Clinton carried the state by a 17-point margin over Bob Dole in the presidential race, [5] Hutchinson defeated Bryant 53%-47% in the Senate election, largely by running up the votes in his congressional district. He became the first Republican Senator from Arkansas since Reconstruction, and the first to be popularly elected.


Hutchinson opposes abortion, supports tax cuts, supports de-regulation of the economy, supports the death penalty and a Constitutional amendment banning flag burning, opposes same-sex marriage, and opposes expanding hate crimes legislation. In 1998, Hutchinson joined two other Republican Senators, Bob Smith of New Hampshire and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, in opposing President Bill Clinton's nomination of James Hormel, an openly gay man, as United States Ambassador to Luxembourg. [6] Hormel was later confirmed as ambassador in a recess appointment. [7]

He served on the Armed Services Committee, Aging Committee, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and Veterans' Affairs Committee. He was one of 16 co-sponsors of the Iraq Resolution (S.J.RES.46). [8]

Senator Hutchinson honored the Little Rock Nine in the award ceremony for their Congressional Medals of Honor. [9]

2002 election

Hutchinson faced Arkansas Attorney General Mark Pryor, David Pryor's son, in his 2002 re-election campaign. During his term as U.S. Senator, Hutchinson had divorced his wife of almost three decades, Donna, a former Arkansas state representative, and married an aide in 2000. Hutchinson denied any impropriety, and Pryor refused to make the matter an issue in the campaign, but the well-publicized divorce substantially hurt his popularity. Pryor was also helped by the presence of his still popular father in a campaign commercial. [10] Hutchinson lost to Pryor by eight points, making him the only Republican incumbent to be defeated that year. [11]

Post-political career

Hutchinson joined the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Dickstein Shapiro in January 2003 as a senior adviser. [12] As of March 2016, Hutchinson serves as a senior director at the Washington, D.C. office of Greenberg Traurig. [13]


Hutchinson married his second wife, Randi Fredholm Hutchinson, a former senior member of staff, in 2000. [14] He and his first wife, Donna Hutchinson, divorced in 1999 after 29 years. [14] They have three sons: Jeremy Hutchinson, a former state representative; Timothy Chad Hutchinson, also a former state legislator; and Joshua Luke Hutchinson. On January 8, 2021, a lobbying report shows that Hutchinson paid The Tolman Group $10,000 to lobby for a pardon from Donald Trump for Jeremy, who had been convicted of bribery and tax fraud; [15] however, former President Trump did not pardon him. [16]

Hutchinson's brother is former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican who succeeded him as member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arkansas's 3rd congressional district, the former undersecretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security, and the unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial nominee in 2006, the same year that Donna Hutchinson was elected to the state House.

Tim and Asa Hutchinson are the brothers-in-law of Arkansas State Senator Kim Hendren, who married their sister, Marylea, in 1958. Hendren was a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in the 2010 election. On May 18, he lost the primary to Congressman John Boozman, who would be elected later that year. Kim Hendren's son, Jim Hendren, was elected in 2012 to the District 2 seat from Benton County in the Arkansas State Senate.

Electoral history

2002 Arkansas U.S. Senate Republican primary [17]
Republican Tim Hutchinson 71,576 77.7%
Republican Jim Bob Duggar20,54622.3%
Total votes92,116 100.0%

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  1. Ayres Jr., B. Drummond (April 15, 2002). "Senator Running on Family Values Has a Tough Race After Divorce". New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  2. "Sen. Tim Hutchinson to wed former staffer". Log Cabin Democrat. Associated Press. August 13, 2000. Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Young Timothy (Tim) Hutchinson (1949–) Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2014.
  4. "Mike Huckabee". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  5. "Presidential Elections of 1996". Adam Carr's Election Archive. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
  6. "Opinion | Let Them Vote on Mr. Hormel". The New York Times. 22 June 1998.
  7. "Clinton Bypasses Senate, Names Hormel Ambassador". 5 June 1999.
  8. "S.J.RES.46". The Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 2016-07-04. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  9. Molotsky, Irvin (10 November 1999). "U.S. Honors 9 Civil Rights Heroes, and Memory of 10th". New York Times. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  10. Russakoff, Dale (2002-08-03). "In Tight Arkansas Senate Race, Family Matters". Washington Post . Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  11. "Pryor defeats Hutchinson in Arkansas". CNN. 2002-11-02. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  12. Hutchinson's bio at Dickstein Shapiro LLP Archived 2008-06-29 at the Wayback Machine
  13. "Tim Hutchinson | Professionals | Greenberg Traurig LLP". www.gtlaw.com. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  14. 1 2 "Sen. Tim Hutchinson to wed former staffer, August 13, 2000". thecabin.net. Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  15. Schmidt, Michael S.; Vogel, Kenneth P. (2021-01-17). "Prospect of Pardons in Final Days Fuels Market to Buy Access to Trump". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  16. "Former Arkansas lawmaker not pardoned by President Trump". 20 January 2021.
  17. "2002 Election Results" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 7, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mike Huckabee
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Arkansas
(Class 3)

Title next held by
Tom Cotton
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 2) from Arkansas
Served alongside: Dale Bumpers, Blanche Lincoln
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Senator Order of precedence of the United States Succeeded byas Former US Senator