Mike Beebe

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Mike Beebe
Mike Beebe.png
Governor of Arkansas
Former officeholder
In office
January 9, 2007 - January 13, 2015
PredecessorMike Huckabee (R)
Base salary$86,890
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedNovember 2006
Next generalIneligible due to term limits
Campaign $$11,833,011
Term limits2 terms
Prior offices
Attorney General of Arkansas
2003 - 2007
Arkansas State Senate
1983 - 2003
High schoolNewport High School (1964)
Bachelor'sArkansas State University (1968)
J.D.University of Arkansas Law School (1972)
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Army Reserve
Years of service1968-1974
Date of birthDecember 28, 1946
Place of birthAmagon, Arkansas
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Michael Dale Beebe (born December 28, 1946, Amagon, Arkansas) was the 45th Governor of Arkansas, serving from 2007-2015. A Democrat, Beebe was first elected governor on November 7, 2006, and was sworn into office on January 9, 2007.

Beebe was one of just three Democratic governors nationally who were regarded by the Congressional Quarterly Gubernatorial Race Tracker as having a "Safe Democratic" seat heading into the 2010 gubernatorial election cycle.[1] He was re-elected on November 2, 2010, having received over 64 percent of the total vote.[2]

Beebe was a member of the executive committee of the National Governors Association. He was named to this leadership role in August 2013. Beebe, along with eight other governors, were responsible for setting the organization's priorities and actions for the subsequent year.[3]

In a state that favored Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney over Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 by an average of 20 percentage points, Beebe governed as a conservative Democrat.[4] His tendency to avoid divisive social issues and his conservative approach to balancing the state budget afforded him a rare measure of bipartisan appeal. Owing primary to his responsible handling of the budget, Beebe was named one of Governing's "Public Officials of the Year" for 2011. His accomplishments were described therein under the heading "The Steady Hand."[5]

Prior to becoming governor, Beebe served a single four-year term as Attorney General of Arkansas and spent 20 years as a member of the Arkansas State Senate.[6] Before entering politics, Beebe was a partner for the firm of Lightle, Beebe, Raney, Bell, and Hudgins and served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1968-1974.

Since Arkansas subjects its governors to a lifetime limit of two four-year terms in office, Beebe's second term was also his final as the state's chief executive officer. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican whom Beebe defeated in the 2006 gubernatorial race, was elected governor on November 4, 2014. Hutchinson succeeded Beebe in office on January 13, 2015.[7]


Beebe was born in Amagon, a small town in Jackson County, Arkansas. He was reared by his mother, a waitress, and never met his father. As a child, Beebe and his family moved often. They lived in Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, Houston and Alamogordo, New Mexico. They returned to Arkansas, and he graduated from Newport High School in 1964.[8]

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 a law degree from the University of Arkansas in 1972. Beebe served in the U.S. Army Reserve.[6]

He practiced law in Searcy in White County for ten years after his graduation from law school. In 1982, he was elected to the Arkansas State Senate, where he would serve for twenty years. In 2002, he was elected Arkansas attorney general.[6]


  • Newport High School (1964)
  • B.A. in political science - Arkansas State University (1968)
  • J.D. - University of Arkansas (1972)

Political career

Governor of Arkansas (2007-2015)

Beebe was elected Governor of Arkansas on November 7, 2006.[9] He assumed the office the following January and was easily re-elected to his second and final-allowed term on November 2, 2010.

Public Officials of the Year 2011

In October 2011, Governing Magazine named Beebe as one of nine "Public Officials of the Year" for his work in managing the Arkansas budget. He was the only governor among the honorees, who also included Utah Senator Dan Liljenquist.[10] Each year since 1994, Governing has selected a handful of state and local officials to honor for standout job performance. The Public Officials of the Year program, started in 1991, "recognizes leaders from state, city and county government who exemplify the ideals of public service."[11]

Human Heartbeat Protection Act veto

On January 28, 2013, Senator Jason Rapert introduced Senate Bill 134, the proposed "Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act." The bill, now Act 301, would require all pregnant women considering abortion to undergoing medical testing to determine if the fetus has a heartbeat and would ban abortions in pregnancies past 12 weeks where the fetus has a heartbeat. Act 301 includes exemptions for abortions carried "to preserve the life of the pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or when continuation of the pregnancy will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman," "due to the existence of a highly lethal fetal disorder as defined by the Arkansas State Medical Board," and in cases of rape and incest.[12] The House passed the bill in its final form 68-20 on February 23, and the Senate followed on February 28, with a vote of 26-8. Beebe vetoed SB 134 on March 4, asserting that "because it would impose a ban on a woman's right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion well before viability, Senate Bill 134 blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court."[13] More than the required simple majority voted to override his veto in each chamber, with the Senate doing so 20-14 on March 5 and the House 56-33 on March 6. The Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act became law on March 6 as Act 301.[14] When enacted, the ban on most abortions after a fetus reaches 12 weeks of age was the earliest in the country.[15] The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights announced that they would challenge the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act before it could go into effect 90 days after the legislature's adjournment.[16]

Job creation ranking

In a June 2013 analysis by The Business Journals, which ranked 45 of the country's 50 governors by their job creation records, Beebe was ranked number 23. The five governors omitted from the analysis all assumed office in 2013. The ranking was based on a comparison of the annual private sector growth rate in all 50 states using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.[17][18]

State budget

See also: Arkansas state budget

In January 2010, Beebe said he intended to cut the state's budget by $106 million, or 2.4 percent. The announcement came after the state's Department of Finance and Administration said that the state's revenues came in below forecast in the last quarter of 2009. At the same time, the state lowered its estimate of income in fiscal year 2011 by 0.4 percent, a reduction of $19.4 million from the forecast the government issued in December 2009. The 2010-2011 budget, which went into effect on July 1, 2010, did not include cost-of-living increases for state employees.[19]

Voter ID

On March 25, 2013, Beebe vetoed a Voter ID bill that required voters to show photo identification in order to vote. In his veto letter the governor stated he "believes that the bill will unnecessarily cost taxpayers money, grow bureaucracy and risk disenfranchisement of voters." The state Senate overrode the veto on March 27 and the House followed suit on April 1.[20]

Attorney General of Arkansas (2003-2007)

Beebe served a four-year term as Attorney General of Arkansas.[9]

Arkansas State Senate (1982-2002)

He also served as a member of the Arkansas State Senate for 20 years.[6]

A photography of Mike Beebe's January 9, 2007 inauguration.
Photo credit: David Quinn

On The Issues Vote Match

Mike Beebe's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

'On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the analysis, Beebe is a Moderate Liberal Populist.[21] Note: We are working to resolve inaccuracies with this information. Thank you for your patience.

On The Issues organization logo.



See also: Arkansas Gubernatorial election, 2014

Beebe was ineligible to run for re-election in 2014. Asa Hutchinson (R) defeated Mike Ross (D) in the general election on November 4, 2014.


See also: Arkansas gubernatorial election, 2010

In Jan. 2010, Beebe announced his plans to seek another term as governor in the 2010 elections.[1] The Republican Party of Arkansas indicated that it planned to field a conservative challenger.[22]

The gubernatorial election in Arkansas was one of 37 gubernatorial contests in 2010. Of those 37 seats, 19 were held by Democrats, including Arkansas, prior to the election.

The Congressional Quarterly Gubernatorial Race Tracker for 2010 ranked the Arkansas governor's seat as "Safe Democratic." It was one of just three (out of 38) seats that the organization assigned that rating as of January 2010, while they identified two seats as "Likely Democrat" and eight as "Leans Democrat."[23]

2010 Arkansas gubernatorial general election
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Mike Beebe 64.42%
     Republican Party Jim Keet 33.63%
     Green Party Jim Lendall 1.86%
     Other write-in 0.09%
Total Votes 781,333


Mike Beebe talks about his background at a 2006 campaign stop

Beebe announced his candidacy for the 2006 gubernatorial election on June 15, 2005. The seat was open, since incumbent Republican governor Mike Huckabee was unable to run for a third term as governor due to the state's gubernatorial term limits.

Beebe bested Republican challenger Asa Hutchinson, a former Republican member of the U.S. Congress who also served as the country's Drug Enforcement Agency chief. Minor party candidates Rod Bryan (Independent) and Jim Lendall (Green) were also in the race.

In the 2006 contest, Beebe outspent his Republican opponent by a margin of nearly 2-1. Beebe spent $6,304,515, while his GOP challenger spent $3,247,567.[24]

2006 election for Governor of Arkansas[25]
Candidates Votes Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Mike Beebe (D) 430,765 55.61%
Asa Hutchinson (R) 315,040 40.67%
Rod Bryan (I) 15,767 2.04%
Jim Lendall (Green) 12,744 1.65%
Write Ins 334 0.05%
Total votes 774,680

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Mike Beebe is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Mike Beebe raised a total of $11,833,011 during that time period. This information was last updated on June 25, 2013.[26]

Mike Beebe's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Governor of Arkansas Not up for election $0
2010 Governor of Arkansas Won $5,129,850
2008 Governor of Arkansas Not up for election $0
2006 Governor of Arkansas Won $6,304,515
2004 Attorney General of Arkansas Won $398,646
Grand Total Raised $11,833,011

2002, 2006, 2010

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Mike Beebe's donors each year.[27] Click [show] for more information.


Beebe and his wife, Ginger, have three children.[6]

Recent news

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Mike Beebe News Feed

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See also

External links

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  1. 1.0 1.1 The City Wire, "Beebe to seek second term as Governor," January 19, 2010
  2. Arkansas Secretary of State, "2010 General Election & Non Partisan Judicial Runoff Election: Statewide Results by Contest," accessed November 29, 2010
  3. National Governors Association, "NGA Announces New Executive Committee Leadership," August 4, 2013
  4. Roll Call, "Congressional Quarterly Gubernatorial Race Tracker for 2010," accessed October 2011
  5. Governing, "Public Officials of the Year: The Steady Hand," accessed July 28, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Governor of Arkansas, "Governor" accessed September 18, 2012
  7. The Washington Times, "Republican Asa Hutchinson sworn in as Arkansas governor," January 13, 2015
  8. ClarkCast 018, "Interview with Mike Beebe," July 24, 2006
  9. 9.0 9.1 Office of Governor of Arkansas Mike Beebe Facebook Page, "Info" accessed September 26, 2012
  10. Ryan Holeywell, Governing Magazine, "The Steady Hand," October 2011
  11. Governing, "GOVERNING Announces 2012 Public Officials of the Year," October 19, 2012
  12. Arkansas Legislature, "Text of Arkansas Act 301, formerly Senate Bill 134," accessed May 12, 2014
  13. Associated Press, "Ark. Gov. Beebe Vetoes 12-Week Abortion Ban," March 4, 2013
  14. Arkansas Legislature, "Bill status information for Arkansas Senate Bill 134," accessed March 11, 2013
  15. Reuters, "Arkansas bans abortion at 12 weeks, earliest in nation," accessed March 6, 2013
  16. Erik Eckholm, The New York Times, "Arkansas Adopts a Ban on Abortions After 12 Weeks," accessed March 6, 2013
  17. The Business Journals, "Governors and jobs: How governors rank for job creation in their states," June 27, 2013
  18. The Business Journals, "How state governors rank on their job-growth record," June 27, 2013
  19. ABC News, "Gov. Beebe Agrees to Cut Arkansas Budget by $106M," January 11, 2010
  20. Yahoo! News, "Arkansas House votes to override veto of voter ID bill," April 1, 2013
  21. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ontheissues
  22. Arkansas News, "GOP chief says ‘conservative’ challenge to Beebe likely," January 19, 2010
  23. Congressional Quarterly, "Congressional Quarterly Gubernatorial Race Tracker for 2010," January 2010
  24. Follow The Money, Governor of Arkansas, 2006
  25. 2006 General Election Results
  26. Follow the Money, "Career Fundraising for Mike Beebe," accessed June 25, 2013
  27. Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
Political offices
Preceded by
Mike Huckabee (R)
Governor of Arkansas
Succeeded by
Asa Hutchinson (R)
Preceded by
Mark Pryor
Arkansas Attorney General
Succeeded by
Dustin McDaniel (D)