Republican Party of Arkansas
Richard BeardenRichard Bearden says working for the state's Republican Party has been a rewarding and fulfilling job. Since 1995, Bearden has worked as the executive director of the state's minority party.
The Hendrix College graduate got his professional start in politics as a state employee. He worked in Secretary of State Bill McCuen's office in the late 1980s in the corporations division, until leaving to work as a campaign director for Asa Hutchinson's failed bid for attorney general in 1990.
The 33-year-old Bearden has been executive director of the Arkansas Republican Party before. From 1991-92 he held the position before leaving to be district director for 4th District U.S. Rep. Jay Dickey of Pine Bluff.
"I grew up in south Arkansas where we were jealous of northwest Arkansas because they had Rep. John Paul Hammerschmidt [a Republican] representing them in Congress," Bearden says. "I always thought it would be great if south Arkansas had a congressman I could support and work for."
In 1992, Dickey took the election and Bearden's dream of working throughout his home district became a reality.
As the executive director of the party, Bearden says his greatest accomplishment has been seeing the number of Republican office holders grow.
"We've seen a lot of change in the last 10-15 years," he says. "It has taken a lot of people working together, but I've been fortunate to have been able to give some direction to the effort. I'm proud that I was able to contribute to some of that success."
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