Bill Clinton laments death of former Arkansas Democratic Sen. David Pryor

 April 23, 2024

The Associated Press reported this past weekend that former Arkansas Democratic Sen. David Pryor passed away at the age of 89.

Pryor's death left many heartbroken, including former President Bill Clinton, who quickly released a tribute to the fallen lawmaker. 

"He really loved the people he represented, and they loved him back"

"Hillary and I are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend David Pryor, one of Arkansas' greatest servant leaders and one of the finest people I have ever known," Clinton wrote in a post on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.

"David made politics personal — from his famed retail campaigning to his ability to calmly and confidently explain tough votes to his constituents," the former president continued.

Clinton went on to praise Pryor for being "honest, compassionate, and full of common sense. He really loved the people he represented, and they loved him back," the former president continued.

Pryor advocated on behalf of seniors and taxpayers

The Hill noted that Pryor's political career began in 1960 when he was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives.

Pryor successfully ran for Congress six years later where he remained until 1973. He then returned to Arkansas and was elected governor in 1975.

His final office was that of United States senator, a position Pryor held from 1979 until finally choosing to step down in 1997.

Pryor was known for advocating on behalf of senior citizens and led investigations in nursing homes. He also helped draft legislation which provided taxpayers with more rights when dealing with the IRS.

Governor praises Pryor for fighting "divisive racial politics"

Clinton was not alone in praising Pryor, as Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton spoke up as well, calling him a "true gentleman and a statesman" who "will continue to serve as inspiration for our fellow Arkansans."

So did Arkansas Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who recalled the way that Pryor's "career defied easy definition."

She described him as "a man with deep roots in Ouachita County who reached the heights of influence in Washington; a Solid South Democrat who stood strong against the Faubus machine; the architect of an Arkansas political dynasty who was just as comfortable in a Camden lumber yard as the Cambridge quad."

Sanders further stressed how "we can all thank him for his role in burying the divisive racial politics that infected Arkansas government before his tenure."

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