By Congressional Quarterly
The first Republican to represent this stretch of North Alabama since the "Goldwater sweep" of 1964, Aderholt will give the district an unstinting conservative voice in Washington.
He favors GOP efforts to eliminate the deficit and provide tax relief. Coming from a district that has long been the beneficiary of federal funds for roads and water projects, he favors continued construction of Corridor X, a highway project that runs through the district and will link Memphis to Birmingham.
But beyond that, Aderholt leans toward a five-year moratorium on new federal construction.
Aderholt's main concerns are in social issues: He favors a constitutional ban on abortion, except to save the life of the woman, supports voluntary school prayer, and opposes same-sex marriages and gun control.
Aderholt benefits from family political connections. His father is a circuit court judge, and his father-in-law, a former state agriculture commissioner, lost a congressional bid in 1990.
(Profiles by Congressional Quarterly Inc., © 1996. All rights reserved.)
Arkansas - Senate
Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.)
Born: Aug. 11, 1949, Bentonville, Ark.
Education: Bob Jones U., B.A. 1971; U. of Arkansas, M.A. 1990.
Occupation: Minister; college instructor; radio station executive.
Family: Wife, Donna Jean King; three children.
Political Career: Ark. House, 1985-93; U.S. House, 1993-97.
By Congressional Quarterly
Hutchinson is beginning his first term in a job he did not want.
When Arkansas Republicans came calling for a Senate candidate to take on Attorney General Winston Bryant, the Democratic nominee, Hutchinson turned them down. He was not interested, he said.
The Republicans persisted. Arkansas' other House Republican, Jay Dickey, threw his support to Hutchinson. Party officials kept the pressure on and Hutchinson finally relented.
His old 3rd District seat was taken over by his younger brother, Asa. They are the second brother combinations in the 105th Congress: The Democrats have Sen. Carl Levin and Rep. Sander M. Levin of Michigan.
This Hutchinson chain reaction began as a result of the Whitewater scandal. Hutchinson prepared to run for re-election to his safe congressional seat and Lt. Gov. Mike Huckabee prepared to run for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat David Pryor.
But in May 1996, Democratic Gov. Jim Guy Tucker announced that he would resign after being convicted of two felonies in a case related to Whitewater. Tucker's conviction prompted Huckabee to drop his unopposed bid for the GOP Senate nomination and ascend instead to the governor's office. That created the opening for Hutchinson.
Huckabee had had a large lead over Bryant in the polls, but Hutchinson started from behind, in no small part because he was unknown to most of the state's voters. Bryant, however, was weakened by a surprisingly strong primary challenge from state Sen. Lu Hardin, who forced him into a runoff.
By beating Bryant, Hutchinson became the first Republican elected to the Senate by Arkansas voters. Several Republican senators were selected by the Arkansas legislature during Reconstruction.
Hutchinson's own brand of conservative Republicanism was tested in the Senate race, where Bryant repeatedly branded him as a lackey for House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The attack ads linking him to Gingrich were aired so frequently that one Arkansas farmer asked Hutchinson if he was the Speaker.
Bryant's own efforts were backed up by an advertising campaign launched by the Arkansas Democratic Party. One ad featured a federal worker laid off during the federal government shutdown. The worker said on camera: "Tim Hutchinson had the gall to shut down the government with Newt Gingrich and then announce he needed his paycheck, leaving the rest of Arkansas holding the bag."
Hutchinson tried to counter the image by playing up his independence. In the most prominent example, he was one of only four Republicans to break party ranks and vote against killing a resolution requiring the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to release the report of the outside counsel brought in to investigate whether Gingrich had misused two tax-exempt foundations in funding his college course. The day before, Bryant had held a news conference challenging Hutchinson to support the resolution.
He also challenged Bryant's characterization of the House Republican record. Hutchinson's advertisements claimed that the Republicans had cut taxes, increased student loans, and added funding for Medicaid, limiting only the size of future increases. "Shame on you, Winston Bryant," the ad said. "Arkansas deserves better."
The Arkansas Republican Party ran its own advertising campaign, accusing Bryant of sharply increasing his office budgets as lieutenant governor under Bill Clinton and later as attorney general.
What had been a close race all along broke in Hutchinson's favor in the closing weeks of the campaign, despite the large plurality given favorite son Clinton in the presidential race.
Bryant was forced on the defensive over disclosures that his office did not meet filing deadlines in criminal cases, which resulted in some charges being dismissed. An assistant attorney general left office because of the disclosures; Bryant apologized for the errors and said he took steps to prevent any recurrence.
Hutchinson seized on the missteps, criticizing what he characterized as Bryant's "pattern of mismanagement."
In his voting record and ideological outlook, Hutchinson -- a Baptist minister and member of the Arkansas House for eight years before his election to the U.S. House in 1992 -- maintains his ties to the conservative religious community.
He fiercely opposes abortion. In 1994, he opposed the assault weapons ban and the omnibus crime bill. During the 104th Congress, he joined with Rep. James M. Talent, R-Mo., in proposing to overhaul the welfare system in a tougher fashion than many Republicans were comfortable with.
Throughout the process he focused particularly on imposing stiff work requirements on welfare recipients and curtailing aid to children born out-of-wedlock.
On taxes, he advocated a $500-per-child tax cut. And he reversed his opposition to increasing the minimum wage by 90 cents an hour after the measure was changed to include business tax breaks.
Hutchinson also has been outspoken in his call for cutting federal spending. For instance, he has been in the minority among Republicans in opposing the proposed space station.
But there are limits to his quest for less government. As chairman of a Veterans' Affairs subcommittee, he worked to ensure that veterans' benefits would continue being paid during the partial government shutdowns in late 1995 and early 1996.
And in August 1993, he defended a $462,000 appropriation for the National Center for Agricultural Law Research and Information against his usual budget-cutting allies.
The reason: The center was located in his district.
© 1997, Congressional Quarterly Inc. All rights reserved.
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