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AAC F A M I L Y & F R I E N D S


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Stalwart of county government passes away


Story by Christy L. Smith s Photos from AAC archive AAC Communications Director


Wes Fowler spent his last day ensuring the interests of coun-


ty government were being looked after in the state Legislature. Te AAC consultant passed away Feb. 1, 2017, at Baptist Hos- pital in North Little Rock. He was 60. Tat morning, Wes had escorted county clerks to a meeting


of the House Committee on State Agencies and Government Affairs. Two of their bills were slated to run in committee that morning — and they passed with unanimous votes. Later in the day, he accompanied the clerks to a meeting of the State Agencies and Governmental Affairs House Elections Subcom- mittee, where legislators heard about the need for funding for new voting systems. It was an issue Wes was all too familiar with, having served


as Madison County Clerk for 10 years beginning in 1989. During that time, he served as legislative chair and in offi- cer positions in the Arkansas Association of County Clerks. He was in line for association president when he was elected county judge in 1998.


30 Likewise active in the County Judges’ Association of Arkan-


sas, Fowler served as legislative chair, first and second vice- president, then president. He also served on the AAC board of directors and as AAC legislative chair. When he did not seek re-election in 2010, he joined the AAC staff as governmental affairs director. He retired in 2014 but continued to serve the counties as a consultant. “Everything he touched in county government, he left it in better shape,” AAC Executive Director Chris Villines said for a County Lines article about Wes’ retirement. Indeed, Wes’ accomplishments range from computerizing


the Madison County Clerk’s office to ushering early voting legislation through the state legislature. In a letter to the Fowler family, Gov. Asa Hutchinson ex-


pressed his condolences and noted the important role Wes had played in county government. “Wes’ willingness to serve the people of Arkansas was re-


markable, and he did so with honor and integrity,” the letter reads. “He was a leader in developing and improving systems of Arkansas government during his service as county clerk, county judge and through his tenure with the [Association of


COUNTY LINES, WINTER 2017


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