G. McConway
July 11, 2023

Arkansas Political Legend Charlie Daniels Dead at 83

We are losing political figures left and right these days, many to retirement.

Sadly, the loss of Charlie Daniels, an Arkansas political legend, is not in that category.

Daniels passed away this week after a brief illness at the age of 83, reported the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Long Career

Daniels got a very early start in his career, winning an election to a local school board, and he never looked back.

He parlayed that local position into roles in the administrations of Governors David Pryor and Bill Clinton.

Daniels moved up in 1984, winning an election as the Commissioner of State Lands. He held that position for two decades when he term-limited out. So, he did what politicians do… he found another office to run for, Secretary of State, where he served two terms before winning his election for State Auditor.

Finally, after a term as State Auditor, Daniels called it quits and retired.

What did Daniels credit to all of his success? Well, after he held office, it was his reputation, but before that, it was likely because he shared a name with country music icon Charlie Daniels, something he even played on during one of his campaigns.

Daniels explained, “My first radio campaign ad had some fiddle music in it from a person up in Mountain View. It went like this, ‘Charlie Daniels. That’s a name that everyone knows. But this Charlie Daniels doesn’t fiddle around. This Charlie Daniels is running for State Land Commissioner.’ It was fun,” reports Talk Business.

He earned his reputation, however, riding the technology wave at every office he held, even raising the annual revenue at the land commissioner’s office from $300,000 to $12 million after an extensive overhaul.

It is funny that many people consider Arkansas to be backwoods, redneck country, but there was a redneck there leading the tech changes in the political world.

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