Bill Sample

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William H. "Bill" Sample

Arkansas State Senator for
District 14 (Garland and
Saline counties)
Assumed office 
Preceded by Paul Bookout (switched to District 21; resigned 2013)

Arkansas State Senator for District 19
In office
Preceded by Terry Smith
Succeeded by David Wyatt

Arkansas State Representative
for District 30
In office
Succeeded by Bruce Westerman

Born April 16, 1946
Hazen, Prairie County, Arkansas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Betty Ann Owen Sample
Children Two daughters, Cleta and Brandi
Residence Hot Springs, Arkansas
Alma mater University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Occupation Owner of a pest-control business
Religion United Methodist

William H. Sample, known as Bill Sample (born April 16, 1946), is the operator of a pest-control business in Hot Springs in west central Arkansas and a Republican state senator. Since January 2013, he has represented Senate District 14, which includes Garland and Saline counties; previously he represented District 19 from 2011 to 2013.[1]


Sample was born in Hazen in Prairie County in east central Arkansas. He attended a year of instruction at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock during the time that the institution was private. Sample and his wife, the former Betty Ann Owen (born 1956), have two daughters, Cleta and Brandi. He is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.[2]

Political life

Sample was elected to the Senate in 2010 from District 19 to succeed the Democrat Terry Smith. He defeated another Democrat, Gene Shelby, 14,071 votes (57.1 percent) to 10,550 (42.9 percent). In 2012, Sample was switched to District 14 through redistricting.[3] From 2005 to 2011, he served in District 30 in the Arkansas House of Representatives,[2] having been succeeded in that position by fellow Republican Bruce Westerman of Hot Springs., since the U.S. Representative for Arkansas' 4th congressional district.

Sample is vice chair of the Arkansas Legislative Council and a member of these Senate committees: (1) State Game and Fish Commission Oversight, (2) Budget, (3) Efficiency, (4) Legislative Joint Auditing, (5) Revenue and Tax, and (6) Public Retirement and Social Security Programs.[2] He is affiliated with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Council of State Governments.[1]

Sample opposes abortion, having voted to ban the practice after twenty weeks of gestation or whenever fetal heartbeat is determined. He opposes allowing abortion to be covered in health-care plans.[4] In 2008, as a House member, Sample voted to raise severance taxes on four categories of natural gas, with the funds allocated for state highway improvements. In 2009, Representative Sample joined a one-third minority in opposing an increase in the state minimum wage. In 2011, Senator Sample did not vote on a bill to ban cell phones in school zones on grounds of safety considerations.[4]

In 2013, Sample joined the Senate majority to amend state income tax rates. He did not vote on legislation to reduce the amount of weekly unemployment compensatio] benefits, but he did support a related bill to require the recipients to be screened for illegal use of narcotics. He voted successfully to override Democratic then Governor Mike Beebe's veto of a bill to require photo identification when one casts a ballot in Arkansas. He opposed legislation to make the office of prosecuting attorney in Arkansas a nonpartisan position. He voted to allow handguns to be carried on church properties and to forbid the release of information on the holders of concealed carry permits. He voted to allow university staff to carry concealed weapons. He did not vote on a bill to permit the sale of unpasteurized whole milk within the state and on another bill to require a racial impact statement regarding crimes.[4]

Sample was renominated to the state Senate in the Republican primary held on May 20, 2014; he defeated Jerry Neal, 5,712 (55 percent) to 4,650 (45 percent).[5] Neal based much of his campaign on Sample's vote for the "private option" Medicaid program by which the state purchases health insurance for its most needy citizens.[6]

In the general election held on November 4, 2014, Sample won a four-year term in the state Senate by defeating the Independent George Pritchett, 20,899 votes (71 percent) to 8,460 (29 percent).[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Biography of the Honorable Bill Sample, Arkansas State Senator. Retrieved on December 5, 2013; information no longer accessible on-line.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Bill Sample's Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on December 9, 2020.
  3. Arkansas State Senate elections, 2012. Retrieved on December 9, 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Bill Sample's Voting Records. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on December 9, 2020.
  5. Arkansas Primary Election Results. KATV (Little Rock) (May 20, 2014). Retrieved on May 21, 2014; information no longer accessible on-line.
  6. Flippo beats Burris in Arkansas state Senate race. KATV (June 10, 2014). Retrieved on December 9, 2020.
  7. 2014 election Results. Arkansas Secretary of State Elections Page. Retrieved on December 9, 2020.