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Cotton Speaks on the Senate Floor About Late Former Senator Dale Bumpers

January 11, 2016

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt (202) 224-2353

I'm proud to join my fellow Senator from Arkansas, Senator John Boozman, in recognizing Senator Dale Bumpers' service today, as well as our Majority Leader and many other Senators who are reminiscing about Senator Bumpers, who passed away earlier this month. Arkansas lost one of its most distinguished public servants, when Senator and Governor Dale Bumpers, died at the age of 90. As both a Governor and Senator, Senator Bumpers' tireless dedication to our state began before I was born and spanned many decades. As someone who grew up with Dale Bumpers already in the Senate, and who was unable to ever vote for him, I asked my mom, Avis, about her memories of Senator Bumpers. Like so many, she was quick to remember the oratory skills for which he was so famous -- not only in Arkansas, but also in Washington and the United States Senate, which has its share of famous orators over its history. But she also had fond memories of him on a personal scale as well, from the Mount Nebo Chicken-Fry-an annual event just outside my hometown of Dardanelle. In the early 1970s, as a young Governor, Senator Bumpers, then Governor Bumpers, always made it to our Chicken-Fry. If it weren't for a few obvious clues, state trooper, local photographers taking pictures of him, she said you wouldn't have even known he was the top executive of our state, so humble and friendly was he to all of the fairgoers. He spent time with each person there, and made everyone feel like they had his full attention. The full attention of our governor. It is an honor to stand here today in the same institution from which he did so much great work for the state of Arkansas.

Senator Bumpers was an Arkansas institution himself, and his legacy has outlived his tenure in office. We are grateful for his service and his commitment to Arkansas, and my thoughts and prayers are with the Bumpers family and all Arkansans whom he so faithfully served.