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Opposite: Clark County Treasurer Judy Beth Hutcherson was first elected to of- fice in 1997. She has a basement office in the historic Clark County Courthouse.

Top Left: Arkansas Supreme Court Associate Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson swears Hutcherson in as president of AAC’s board of directors.

Top Right: Hutcherson presides over her first AAC board meeting in April. Seated next to her is AAC Board Vice President Debbie Wise, Randolph County Circuit Clerk.

college in Dallas. Adapting to new situations and opportunities was just part of the family life he lived and fostered. She was the second oldest of his five children and his only daughter. He was a man of remarkable energy who milked cows every morning before class to pay for his undergraduate degree at Ouachita Baptist University. And wherever they lived, he al- most always preached on the side — and tithed —in small, rural churches, black and white. “He had an ability to reach out to people, bring them in, make them feel as if they were a part,” she said of her father. “He was a teaching minis- ter, low-key, not hell, fire and brim- stone, and he rarely raised his voice. We thought of ourselves as a service family.

In fact all of my brothers

[eventually] joined the military — the Air Force and Navy. I’m the only one who followed Daddy’s footsteps into the Army.”

So, yes, she wore combat boots and learned to shoot an M-16,

and even pilot an airplane on those weekend-a-month exercises for eight years. Te experience satisfied her bent for adventure as has riding a BMW motorcycle with her forester husband El- ven on every road in Arkansas, mudding in their Jeep a long time ago, and climbing the USTA tennis ladder the 10 years she stayed out of the workplace to “spoil her new husband and raise their children,” she said. But the 95th Division of the Re-

“I just love this job ... When I walk into this courthouse every day, I look up and

just stand in awe. And I think how everything I do is for the good of the people who elected me.”

Tat might seem out of character for this stylish woman with a pen- chant for Chico’s clothes and jew- elry that complements her perfectly coiffed, highlighted curls and the Saturn Sky convertible with initialed tags. But her stint as a soldier is one of the first things she tells people about herself, how when she was a single mom after her divorce, she joined the nearby battalion of U.S. Army Re- serves to earn extra money.


— Judy Beth Hutcherson Clark County Treasurer

serves — like deer camp, Guys & Gals bass tournaments, the Cattle- men’s Association gatherings, the Democratic Committee, and the local Lions and Rotary clubs, hallmarks of the connected life in a small Southern town — ended up providing a base of community support for her that became valuable when she decided to seek public office in this county of 23,000 in the mid-1990s. She never went to college, but she honed the skill sets she needed for the Treasurer’s job working in accounting for Blue Cross Blue Shield, bookkeep- ing in an Arkadelphia law office and then in the appointed post of clerk-

treasurer for the city of Arkadelphia for 10 years. Te work fit. “But I always wanted to run for office,” she said.

See “HUTCHERSON” on Page 36 >>> 35


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