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Bill Lewellen, a former senator from Arkansas, passes away



Little Rock, Arkansas – Roy C. “Bill” Lewellen, a former senator from Arkansas, passed away on Tuesday morning in Marianna.

According to a news release, Lewellen was one of only two black attorneys in Lee County and a fervent supporter of fair representation and treatment for all members of his community.

Before being chosen for the state Senate in 1990, he was a member of the Marianna municipal council.

“Bill Lewellen was a friend and mentor from my earliest days as a reporter covering the State Capitol,” said Democratic Party of Arkansas Chair Grant Tennille. “If I was confused over the true motivations behind any piece of legislation, Senator Lewellen was the one who set me straight. At the same time, Bill was reliably hilarious, often at my expense, and I will miss his laughter most of all.”

He was the second African senator from Arkansas in the 20th century and served for ten years in the Senate.

He was the law’s proponent, and as a result, the Minority Health Commission was established in Arkansas.

On social media, former governor Mike Huckabee expressed his sympathy.

“I’m genuinely grieved by the news of Sen. Bill Lewellen passing. In my days as Lt. Gov I got to know him,” Huckabee said. “As Governor, I worked w/ him. To the surprise of many, I loved him, respected him, & enjoyed him. He was a Democrat, but he was foremost a true public servant and statesman.”


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