Michelle Gray

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April Michelle Gray


Arkansas State Representative
for District 62 (Independence, Izard,
Sharp, and Stone counties)
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 2015
Preceded by Tommy Wren

Born September 11, 1976
Izard County, Arkansas, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Shane Madison Cunningham

(2) Dr. Adam Christopher Gray

Children Five children
Residence Melbourne, Izard County
Alma mater Melbourne High School

Arkansas State University (Jonesboro)

Occupation Businesswoman
Religion Southern Baptist

April Michelle Harvey Gray, formerly Michelle Cunningham, known as Michelle Gray (born September 11, 1976),[1] is the manager of her husband's medical office in Melbourne in her native Izard County, Arkansas[2] and a Republican state representative for Independence, Sharp, and Stone counties.[3]

Background

Gray graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Arkansas State University at Jonesboro. She formerly worked in the accounting offices of both ASU and Ozarka College, a community college in Melbourne.[4] She and her husband, Dr. Adam Christopher Gray (born c. 1971), have five children. She is a Southern Baptist. She is a former secretary and treasurer for the Izard County Emergency Services Board. She has also been the treasurer of the Single Parent Scholarship Foundation in Izard County.[3][2]

Gray formerly resided in Walnut Ridge in Lawrence County, Arkansas, dates unavailable.

Political life

Gray ran without opposition in the Republican primary held on May 20, 2014, for the District 62 nomination to the state House. In the November 4 general election she unseated the two-term Democrat Tommy Wren, 5,130 votes (54.3 percent) to 4,319 (45.7 percent).[5] Representative Gray holds these committee assignments: (1) Legislative Joint Audit (2) Judiciary Committee, and (3) State Agencies and Governmental Affairs.[3]In February 2015, Gray joined dozens of her fellow Republicans and two Democrats in co-sponsoring legislation submitted by Representative Lane Jean of Magnolia, to reduce unemployment compensation benefits. The measure was promptly signed into law by Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson.[6]

That same month Gray supported House Bill 1228, sponsored by Republican Bob Ballinger of Carroll County, which sought to prohibit government from imposing a burden on the free exercise of religion.[7] The measure passed the House, seventy-two to twenty.[8] One of the opponents, Democratic Representative Camille Bennett, a former city attorney for Lonoke, Arkansas, called for a reworking of the legislation.[9] Bennett claimed the Ballinger bill would establish a "type of religious litmus test" which could impact nearly any law under consideration by the legislature.[10] The measure was subsequently passed by a large margin in the House and signed into law in revised form, SB 975, by Governor Hutchinson.[11]

Gray is a particular admirer of former Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee. "We have a lot of respect for her and what she does – and just the fight that she's willing to take on. She's not scared of anything. Her viewpoints and our viewpoints are a lot alike. ... She's a mom, she's a wife [prior to Palin's divorce]. She's me. I can see myself in her a lot," said Gray.[12]

References

  1. Michelle Gray. Mylife.com. Retrieved on January 9, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Michelle Gray Announces for State Rep.," michellegray.us, accessed April 12, 2015; material no longer on-line}}
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Michelle Gray. Arkansas House of Representatives. Retrieved on January 9, 2021.
  4. Michelle Gray's Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on January 9, 2021.
  5. District 62. Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on January 9, 2021.
  6. HB 1489 - Reduces Unemployment Benefits - Key Vote. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on January 9, 2021.
  7. HB 1228. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on January 9, 2021.
  8. HB 1228. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on January 9, 2021.
  9. "Indiana, Arkansas try to stem religious objections uproar," Atlantic Broadband, April 3, 2015; no longer accessible on-line.
  10. "Opponents of Religious Freedom Bill Point Out Law Differences, Possible Unintended Consequences," Fox Channel 16 (Little Rock), April 1, 2015; no longer accessible on-line.
  11. "Gov. Hutchinson signs revised religious freedom bill; HB 1228 recalled," KTHV-TV (Little Rock), April 2, 2015; no longer accessible on-line.
  12. We Love Gov. Palin. conservatives4palin.com (April 8, 2015). Retrieved on April 12, 2015; website no longer on-line.