Bob Ballinger

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Robert Alan "Bob" Ballinger

Arkansas State Representative
for District 97 (Carroll, Madison,
and Washington counties)
Assumed office 
Preceded by Jonathan D. Barnett

Born January 31, 1974
Bremerton, Washington, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jessica Lynn Thomas Ballinger
Children Bobby, Lydia, Asa, Shiloh, Titus, and Millie Ballinger
Residence Hindsville, Madison County]]
Arkansas, USA

Business address:
Berryville, Carroll County

Alma mater Daniel Webster High School (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Northeastern State University
(Tahlequah, Oklahoma) University of Arkansas School of Law

Occupation Attorney
Religion Baptist

Robert Alan Ballinger, known as Bob Ballinger (born January 31, 1974) is an attorney in Berryville in northwestern, Arkansas, who is a Republican state representative for District 97, which he has represented since 2013 and includes parts of Carroll, Madison, and Washington counties.[1]

Personal life and education

A native of Bremerton, Washington, Ballinger was reared in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he graduated from Daniel Webster High Schoo].[1] He received a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies Education from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. In 2004, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville.[2]

Early career

From 1999 to 2002, Ballinger taught history in Sapulpa near Tulsa. From 2006 to 2011, he was director of operations of Kings River Title Company in Rogers, Arkansas. He has been engaged in the practice of law since 2006. He is a former chairman of the Berryville Chamber of Commerce.[2]

Though Ballinger's law office is in Berryville, the seat of government of Carroll County, but he and his wife, the former Jessica Lynn Thomas (born 1976), reside in rural Hindsville in Madison County. The Ballingers have six children, Bobby, Lydia, Asa, Shiloh, Titus, and Millie. He is a Baptist[2]and a member of Kiwanis International.[1]

Political life

In 2012, Ballinger won the Republican nomination for the District 97 House seat over Jeremy Miller, 1,362 (52.4 percent) to 1,238 (47.6 percent). He then defeated the Democrat Robert D. Berry (born 1949) of Eureka Springs in Carroll County, 6,706 votes (56.2 percent) to 5,226 (43.8 percent). The position opened when the incumbent Republican Representat Jonathan D. Barnett was transferred to reconfigured District 87.[3]

Ballinger serves on these House committees: (1) Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development, (2) Energy, (3) Judiciary, and (4) Performance Review. He is the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice and Child Support.[2]

In 2013, Representative Ballinger co-sponsored amending state income tax rates. He co-sponsored a proposed spending cap on the state budget, but the measure failed by two votes on the House floor. He voted to override of the vetoes of Democratic then Governor Mike Beebe to enact legislation to require photo identification for casting a ballot in Arkansas and to ban abortion after twenty weeks of gestation. He was a co-sponsor of both of those measures. He further supported related pro-life legislation to forbid the inclusion of abortion in the state insurance exchange, to make the death of an unborn child a felony in certain cases, and to forbid abortion whenever fetal heartbreat is detected.[4]

Ballinger co-sponsored legislation to empower officials of religious institutions and universities to engage in the concealed carry of firearms for church and campus safety. He opposed the bill to reduce the fees for obtaining a concealed-carry permit. He co-sponsored the House-passed measure to prohibit the governor from regulating firearms during an emergency. He voted against approved legislation to make the office of prosecuting attorney in Arkansas nonpartisan. He supported failed legislation to prohibit the closure of public schools after a two-year period of declining enrollment. He voted for legislation to establish a tiered system for lottery scholarships. Ballinger co-sponsored the bill, signed by Governor Beebe, to permit the sale of up to five hundred gallons per month of unpasteurized whole milk directly from the farm to consumers.[4]

Ballinger won his second term in the House in the general election held on November 4, 2014, a strong year politically in Arkansas for Republican candidates. He defeated the Democratic choice, Charles "Sonny" Carter, 6,234 votes (65 percent) to 3,384 (35 percent).[5]

In February 2015, Ballinger was the author of House Bill 1228, which was designed to prohibit government from imposing a burden on the free exercise of religion. The measure passed the House, seventy-two to twenty.[6] One of the opponents, Representative Camille Bennett, a former city attorney for Lonoke, Arkansas, called for a reworking of the legislation.[7] Bennett claimed the Ballinger bill would establish a "type of religious litmus test" which could impact nearly any law under consideration by the legislature.[8] The measure was subsequently signed into law in revised form, SB 975, by Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson.[9]

Ballinger was the Arkansas state co-chairman of the presidential campaign for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, whom he hosted on a campaign swing through Arkansas in August 2015. Working with Ballinger in the campaign is former gubernatorial candidate Curtis Coleman, who was defeated in the 2014 primary election by since Governor Hutchinson.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bob Ballinger, R-97. Retrieved on January 7, 2014; mater no longer access ble on-line.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Dan Douglas' Biography. Project Vote Smart.
  3. District 97. Retrieved on November 24, 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bob Ballinger's Voting Records. Project Vote Smart.
  5. District 97. Retrieved on November 24, 2020.
  6. {{cite web|url= 1228|publisher=Project Vote Smart|accessdate=November 24, 2020}
  7. Indiana, Arkansas try to stem religious objections uproar. Atlantic Broadband (April 3, 2015). Retrieved on April 14, 2015.
  8. Opponents of Religious Freedom Bill Point Out Law Differences, Possible Unintended Consequences. Fox Channel 16 (April 1, 2015). Retrieved on April 14, 2015.
  9. Gov. Hutchinson signs revised religious freedom bill; HB 1228 recalled. KTHV-TV (April 2, 2015). Retrieved on April 14, 2015.
  10. Max Brantley (August 11, 2015). Ted Cruz announces Arkansas leadership team. The Arkansas Times. Retrieved on August 15, 2015.