October 8, 2007
In 1966, John Paul Hammerschmidt became the first Republican elected to the U.S. Congress from Arkansas since Reconstruction. Representing the Third District for twenty-six years, Hammerschmidt has been praised for his work in the field of veterans affairs and his introduction of the bill that designated the Buffalo River as the first national river. The nearest he came to defeat during his twelve reelection campaigns was a narrow victory over a young Bill Clinton in 1974. Since retiring in 1993, he has remained active on many state and national boards.