Bill Halter

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Bill Halter
Bill Halter.jpg
Former Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas
In office
Personal website
Campaign website
William A. "Bill" Halter (born 1960) is a Democratic politician and the former Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas. In that role he also served as President of the Arkansas State Senate. Having been sworn in in his hometown of Little Rock on January 9, 2007, he succeeded the late Republican Winthrop Paul Rockefeller, who served as Lieutenant Governor for the preceding decade. Halter chose not to seek another term in 2010 and instead unsuccessfully pursued a U.S. Senate seat.

In Jan. 2013, Halter announced his bid for the open governor seat in 2014. He had hoped that attorney general Dustin McDaniel's decision to drop out of the race would clear his path to the Democratic nomination. However, the subsequent emergence of a strong primary competitor, ex-U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, who significantly outperformed Halter in campaign fundraising according to reports in July 2013, led Halter to withdraw his candidacy.[1]


Halter is a Rhodes Scholar who studied Economics and Political Science at Stanford University and received an A. B. with Honors and Distinction in 1983. He received a Master of Philosophy in Economics from St John's College, Oxford in 1986. He is a trustee emeritus of Stanford University, having served on its board of trustees for seven years and having chaired the Stanford Committee on Academic Policy.

His official website[2] notes, "Not a career politician, Halter’s business background offers Arkansas leadership with the experience and know-how needed to expand economic development and attract new jobs for Arkansans. Before entering public service, he was a Management Consultant with McKinsey and Company where he advised companies in a range of industries and coauthored a study on the management practices of successful companies. Currently, Bill Halter is a member of the Board of Directors of two public companies in biotechnology and information technology: Threshold Pharmaceuticals...and Akamai Technologies...He previously served on the Board of InterMune,.. Xenogen,...and webMethods."[3]

Political Career

Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas (2006-2010)

In the run-up to the 2006 Arkansas elections, Halter initially ran for Governor of Arkansas but dropped out in March 2006 and instead ran successfully for Lieutenant Governor. He won a Democratic primary election runoff against Tim Wooldridge and then defeated Jim L. Holt of Springdale, a former conservative Republican state legislator and minister, in the general election.[4]

In 2007, there was speculation that Halter would run for the United States Senate against incumbent Mark Pryor in 2008.[5]

Clinton Administration

In 1993, Halter began service in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), part of the Executive Office of the President. In his six years with President Clinton's OMB, the U.S. annual federal budget deficit of $290 billion was transformed into a $125 billion surplus and federal civilian employment was reduced to its lowest level since the Kennedy Administration.

After serving in the OMB for six years he was nominated by President Bill Clinton and confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate in 1999 as the Deputy Commissioner (later, also Acting Commissioner) of Social Security.



See also: Arkansas Gubernatorial election, 2014

Incumbent Gov. Mike Beebe (D) is barred by term-limits from running for re-election in 2014, and[6] on January 25, 2013, Halter announced that he would run to replace him.[7] His bid arrived on the heels of previous Democratic frontrunner Dustin McDaniel's abrupt withdrawal from the race. His campaign started off strong, scoring an endorsement from the United Steelworkers union.[8][9][10] By July, Halter, finding himself trailing primary opponent Mike Ross in fundraising, decided that it was his turn to make an early exit from the race.[1]

Prior to quitting the race, Halter had intended to make education the chief focus of his campaign, hinging on a $50-75 million plan to offer college scholarships to high school graduates who maintain a 2.5 grade point average.[11]

The general election took place November 4, 2014.

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