Ann Veasman Clemmer (1958–)
Ann Veasman Clemmer is a professor, politician, and public servant from Saline County. She taught political science at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock from August 1992 to January 2015. She was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2008 and served three consecutive terms, followed by service in the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE).
Carol Ann Veasman was born in Osceola (Mississippi County) on August 10, 1958, to Martha Lee Robinson Veasman, a teacher, and Joseph Christian Veasman, a farmer. Her father left farming for agricultural related public service, which included the Agency for International Development (USAID) in Vietnam (during the conflict years) as an agricultural advisor. The Veasman family lived in the Philippines during that time. The family returned to south Mississippi County, and Clemmer finished her secondary education at Keiser Elementary and Rivercrest High School in Wilson (Mississippi County).
Clemmer (nee Bennett) graduated with high honors from Arkansas State University (ASU) in 1978, with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She completed a Master’s of Arts in political science, also from ASU. While in college, Clemmer was a founding member and president of the ASU chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society. Clemmer returned to ASU in 1983 to do graduate study in history. Clemmer began her higher education career in 1982 at Mississippi County Community College (MCCC), now Arkansas Northeastern College, teaching political science and history. She became the MCCC program director at Eaker Air Force Base in 1984 and remained there until the program’s closure in 1992.
In August 1992, Clemmer became part of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock) Department of Political Science. Clemmer was a frequent panelist on the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) program Arkansas Week and a regular presenter for Arkansas Viewpoint on KUAR public radio, in addition to providing election night analysis for various Little Rock (Pulaski County) television and radio outlets.
A long-time Republican, Clemmer was county chairman of the Mississippi County Republican Committee and served as election commissioner for a number of years. While in college, Clemmer was active in College Republican activities and was state chairman of the Arkansas College Republicans. Clemmer has attended numerous National Republican Conventions from 1984 through 2016 and was elected to serve as a delegate for four of those. Clemmer has remained active in the Saline County Republican Committee, as well as party groups at the state level.
In 2008, Clemmer ran for and won an open seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives, representing areas of Saline County including her home community of Salem (Saline County), the town of Bryant (Saline County), and portions of Alexander (Pulaski and Saline counties), Sardis (Saline County), and Benton (Saline County). She was reelected to the House in 2010 and 2012, representing the Twenty-Third District (redrawn and renumbered due to redistricting). While in the House, she served on the standing committees of Judiciary, State Agencies, Education, and Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs, as well as committees of Audit and the Arkansas Legislative Council. Clemmer was the primary sponsor on several bills for ethics reform, lottery scholarship reform, public charter schools, Medicaid, unemployment insurance reform, and the improvement of adoption procedures in Arkansas. She was the House sponsor for the strongest anti-abortion law in the nation in 2013.
In 2014, Clemmer was term limited in the Arkansas House. That year she ran unsuccessfully for the Republican primary nomination against French Hill for a seat in the U.S. Congress.
In January 2015, she resigned from her teaching position at UA Little Rock to take a senior leadership position at the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. In July 2016, Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed Clemmer interim director of ADHE. She then became ADHE’s senior associate director for Government Relations/Special Projects.
She and her husband, Jamie, live in Salem. She has three grown daughters from her first marriage.
For additional information:
“Ann Clemmer.” Ballotpedia. http://www.ballotpedia.org/Ann_Clemmer (accessed November 16, 2021).
“Representative Ann Clemmer.” Arkansas General Assembly. www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2009/R/Pages/MemberProfile.aspx?member=Clemmer (accessed November 16, 2021).
Cody Lynn Berry
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