Neal Turner

Chief of Staff

Governor's Office

Little Rock

Neal Turner

In 1990, Neal Turner went to work for Jim Guy Tucker when Tucker entered the lieutenant governor's race. He's been with the governor ever since.

But Turner, 37, has not been in politics his whole life. After graduating from Ouachita Baptist University in 1980, he embarked on a career as a football coach for various college programs in Nevada, Oklahoma State and Iowa State. To this day he's still proud of the years he spent coaching at the Division I level.

"I'm proud of having been able to make the transition from a coaching career into politics," Turner says.

In 1986 Turner decided to try graduate school. He now has his master's degree from Ouachita and is pursuing a doctorate in political science from the University of Mississippi, lacking only the dissertation.

Two highlights of Turner's career are the first Medicaid special session of the Legislature in December 1992 and the first special session in 1993.

"We didn't have a lot of rime to prepare for that," Turner says. "We got a lot done in a very short period."