Charlie Daniels

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Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels.jpg
Arkansas Auditor of State
Former officeholder
In office
January 2011 - January 2015
Base salary$54,305
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Campaign $$596,193
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Arkansas Secretary of State
2003 - 2011
Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands
1985 - 2003
Bachelor'sSouth Arkansas University, University of Arkansas
Ph.D.Shorter College
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Air Force
Service branchU.S. Air Force Reserves
Place of birthEl Dorado, Arkansas
Office website
Charlie Daniels (born December 7, 1939, in El Dorado, Arkansas) is the former Arkansas Auditor of State. Daniels was elected on November 2, 2010.[1] Daniels announced in May 2013 that he would not seek another term as auditor in 2014. Instead, the 74-year-old former Arkansas state lands commissioner and secretary of state retired to spend more time with his family.[2] His term expired on January 13, 2015, and he was succeeded by Andrea Lea (R).


Daniels was born and raised in Arkansas, and remained there for his undergraduate studies at South Arkansas University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Before entering politics, Daniels served in the U.S. Air Force as well as the U.S. Air Force Reserves. In 1996, 12 years after winning his first statewide race, for Commissioner of State Lands, Daniels was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Shorter College in North Little Rock.[3]

Aside from his duties as an elected official, Daniels has chaired the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission, served on the Board of the Information Network of Arkansas and as a member of the National Association of Secretaries of State, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers-Local 1703.

Daniels first started out in politics as a member of the Parker's Chapel School Board. He relocated to central Arkansas when then-Governor David Pryor appointed him Director of the Arkansas Department of Labor in 1974. He was re-appointed to the position when Bill Clinton began his first term as the state's governor. For four years beginning in 1980, he was the Director of Government Affairs for the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives.


  • South Arkansas University
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters honoris causa, Shorter College, 1996

Political career

Arkansas Auditor of State (2011-2015)

After two terms as secretary of state, Daniels decided to change to another statewide office. He ran successfully for Arkansas Auditor of State in the 2010 elections, and was sworn in the following January.[4] Daniels declined to seek re-election as state auditor in 2014 was succeeded by Andrea Lea in January 2015.

Secretary of State (2002-2010)

Daniels served as the Democratic Arkansas Secretary of State from 2002 until 2010. State term limit laws barred him from running for a third term in office.

Commissioner of State Lands (1984-2002)

In 1984, Daniels was elected as Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands. He was subsequently re-elected to four-year terms in 1986, 1990, 1994 and 1998.


State executive officials
State legislatures


See also: Arkansas down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Daniels was eligible for re-election as Arkansas Auditor, but decided to retire at the end of his term rather than run again in 2014. At 74, Daniels decided to spend more time with his family rather than seek another four year term in statewide office, thus ending his tenure tracing back to his first election as Commissioner of State Lands in 1984, a post which he held until 2002. In 2002, he became Secretary of State and served in that position until being elected auditor in 2010.[5]


  • 2010 Auditor Race - General election
    • Charlie Daniels defeated Green party opponent Mary Hughes-Willis with 70.65% of the vote.

Arkansas Auditor of State, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngCharlie Daniels 70.6% 506,606
     Green Mary Hughes-Willis 29.4% 210,476
Total Votes 717,082
Election Results via US Election Atlas


  • 2006 Race for Secretary of State - Democratic Primary
    • Charlie Daniels ran unopposed
  • General
Arkansas Secretary of State, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngCharlie Daniels 61.6% 468,548
     Republican Jim Lagrone 35.4% 269,766
     Green Ralph Scully 3% 22,773
Total Votes 761,087
Election Results via US Election Atlas


  • 2002 Race for Secretary of State - Democratic Primary
    • Charlie Daniels ran unopposed
  • General
Arkansas Secretary of State, 2002
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngCharlie Daniels 62.1% 492,621
     Republican Janet Huckabee 37.9% 300,293
Total Votes 792,914
Election Results via US Election Atlas

Campaign contributions

Comprehensive donor information for Daniels is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Daniels raised a total of $596,153 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 8, 2013.[6][7]

Charlie Daniels's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 Arkansas State Auditor Won $160,682
2006 Arkansas Secretary of State Won $247,943
2002 Arkansas Secretary of State Won $187,528
Grand Total Raised $596,153

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 Charlie Daniels's donors each year.[8] Click [show] for more information.


Nick Wilson

Arkansas Watch reports that Charlie Daniels had a couple of notable ties with disgraced former State Senator Nick Wilson, who was convicted of defrauding Arkansas taxpayers out of millions of dollars meant for disadvantaged children. As Director of the Department of Labor in 1980, he invested state funds in two banks within Nick Wilson's home district, one of which he owned stock in. The Planters and Stockman Bank of Pocahontas received $50,000 in Arkansas state funds for a Certificate of Deposit. Not only did Wilson own stock in the bank, his law partner, Murray Grider, served as attorney for the bank. Both Charlie Daniels and Nick Wilson maintained that the deposits arose from a chance meeting at Charlie Daniel’s state office.

The other link, also in 1980, between Daniels and Wilson involved the then-Director of the Department of Labor collaborating with Wilson in securing a state consulting contract for Philip Ledbetter, part-owner with Wilson in International Safety Consultants Inc., which had first been formed by Wilson's law partner, Murray Grider. Ledbetter was told by Wilson to apply for a contract with Worker’s Compensation Commission, which, in addition to the state legislature's Joint Performance Review Committee, was demanding more data relation to claims results from accidents in public agency positions. Ledbetter was granted the contract. When he tried to apply for another consulting contract, his request was declined, due largely in part to the shortage funds. Charlie Daniels and his Labor Department tried to find a way around this, requesting $64,000 to fund the contract through the Ozarks Regional Commission (ORC). It was during this time that the name of the company owned by Ledbetter was changed to Project Systems, Inc. Julie McDonald, Governor Clinton’s aid for ORC projects, turned down the request partly because the company listed no telephone number. When McDonald asked for a public presentation, Project Systems withdrew for their application.[9]

Audit of travel expenses

A new law written in 1979 called for the establishment of a system for reimbursement for travel expenses, largely as a means of reducing the use of state-government credit cards. A state agency under the new law could set aside a sum from its regular appropriations for this purpose. Any employee of that agency that requested travel money in advance would obtain a loan from said fund. The employee would then get a reimbursement check after filing an expense report, which would then be used to repay the loan. These loans were to made out only for individual trips on state business by state employees who required a cash advance. The rule required that these loans be repaid when the employee received reimbursement for the expenses of that single trip. Daniels, as head of the State's Labor Department, had authorized an advance of $495 to himself that he did not intend to pay back until after several trips, believe to have 'made more sense' for him to have done it that way. Audits conducted by the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee and the state Finance & Administration Department in December 1980 revealed that out of the $5,000 that had been authorized for the department's travel fund, about $2,600 was outstanding; of the outstanding amount, $1,250 was in December loans alone.

The exact same day the audit report came out, Daniels announced he had submitted his resignation to the newly elected governor, Frank White.


Daniels currently resides in Bryant, Arkansas. He was married to the late-Patricia Ann Burleson for 46 years. The couple had two children together, Marsha and Chuck. Daniels now has four grandsons and two granddaughters. He is also a practicing Baptist.[3]

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See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by
Arkansas Auditor of State
Succeeded by
Andrea Lea (R)
Preceded by
Sharon Priest
Arkansas Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Mark Martin (R)