April 21, 2024

David Pryor, former Arkansas governor, US senator, dies at age 89

The political world is mourning the loss of a longtime public servant who spent time as the chief executive of his own state as well as in the upper chamber of the United States Congress.

David Pryor, former Arkansas governor and Democratic senator, died in Little Rock over the weekend at the age of 89, as The Hill reports.

Long and storied career remembered

Pryor was known as one of the most significant players on the Arkansas Democratic political scene for decades, rising through the ranks starting back in 1960.

It was then that he was first elected to serve in the Arkansas House of Representatives before moving to the U.S. Congress six years later.

Remaining in the House of Representatives until 1973, Pryor was elected governor of his home state two years later and ultimately served two terms in that role.

In 1979, he moved on to the U.S. Senate, securing election to that seat on three different occasions.

During his career, Pryor gained a reputation as a staunch advocate for senior citizens and was heralded for his contributions to aw Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Reactions pour in

The news of Pryor's death has elicited a deluge of tributes from those who knew and worked with him over the years, including Arkansas' own, former President Bill Clinton, as Axios noted.

Clinton declared Pryor “one of America's greatest advocates for the elderly, waging long battles to lower the cost of prescription drugs and to improve nursing homes and in-home care to help more people live in dignity.”

Sen. John Boozman added, “Arkansas has benefitted tremendously from his dedicated stewardship as a legislator, governor and citizen deeply invested in helping ensure our best days were still ahead.”

Republican former Gov. Asa Hutchinson characterized Pryor as “the quintessential public servant” who put his own broader ambitions aside to help the residents of his state.

Current Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders also offered a tribute of her own, saying, “David Pryor's charisma and moderate politics made him a force at the ballot box for decades. While the senator and I came up in different political parties, I, like all Arkansans deeply appreciated his diligent stewardship of Arkansas and our interests during his time in public life.”

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