Camille Bennett

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Camille Williams Bennett


Arkansas State Representative
for District 14
In office
January 2015 – January 2017
Preceded by Walls McCrary
Succeeded by Roger Lynch

Born 1960
Place of birth missing
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Wayne Otis Bennett, Jr.
Children No children
Residence Lonoke, Arkansas, USA
Alma mater University of Arkansas
at Little Rock

University of Missouri School of Law

Occupation Attorney
Religion All Souls Interdenominational Church

Camille Williams Bennett (born 1960)[1] is an attorney from Lonoke, Arkansas, who is a Democrat former one-term state representative for District 14, which includes Arkansas, Jefferson, Lonoke, Prairie, and Pulaski counties in the mostly central portion of her state.[2]

Background

Bennett's father, Randall L. Williams (1924-2010), a native of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, who was a state representat6ive for Drew Couty, dates unavailable, and was a circuit judge for the 11th District from 1970 to 1993, with duties in Arkansas, Jefferson, Desha, and Lincoln counties.[3] The Randall L. Williams Correctional Facility west of Pine Bluff in Jefferson County is named in his honor.

Bennett received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and her legal degree from the University of Missouri School of Law in Columbia, Missouri. She is a member of the All Souls Church, and interdenominational congregation in Scott, Arkansas. She is also affiliated with the American Heart Association and the Central Arkansas Rescue Efforts for Animals.[2] She is married to Wayne Otis Bennett, Jr. (born 1948), of Lonoke.[1][3]

Political life

Bennett is a former elected city attorney for Lonoke, with service dating back to at least 2009. In that capacity, she received a $2,000 annual retainer for attendance at council meetings and as legal counsel to the mayor and the council.[4] Bennett narrowly overcame the statewide tide for Republicans in the general election on November 4, 2014. By 86 votes, she defeated her GOP opponent, Buddy Fisher, 4,252 votes (50.5 percent) to 4,166 (49.5 percent). Fisher had won the May 20 Republican primary with 64 percent of the votes cast over intra-party rival, Trent Eilts. The position opened when the Democrat Walls McCrary, also of Lonoke, was term-limited and could not seek a fourth term.[5]

Bennett served on these committee assignments: (1) Judiciary and (2) State Agencies and Governmental Affairs.[2]

In February 2015, Bennett opposed House Bill 1228, authored by Republican Bob Ballinger of Carroll County in northwestern Arkansas,[6] which prohibits government from imposing a burden on the free exercise of religion. The measure passed the House, seventy-two to twenty.[7] Bennett called for a reworking of the legislation.[8] She claimed the Ballinger bill would establish a "type of religious litmus test" which could impact nearly any law under consideration by the legislature.[6] The measure was subsequently signed into law in revised form, SB 975, by Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson.[9]

In March 2015, Bennett hugged to console a Republican colleague, DeAnn Vaught of Horatio in Sevier County, when Vaught spoke in support of legislation dealing with the reporting of cases of child maltreatment and referred to her own experiences regarding the issue.[10]

In 2016, Bennett was defeated in her bid for a second term by the Republican Roger Lynch, who polled 5,867 votes (52.1 percent) to her 5,391 (47.9 percent) .[11]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Camille Bennett. intelius.com. Retrieved on December 10, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Camille Bennett. Arkansas House of Representatives. Retrieved on April 14, 2015; material no longer accessible on-line.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Judge Randall L. Williams. tributes.com (December 16, 2010). Retrieved on December 10, 2020.
  4. Joan McCoy, "City attorney duties vary," The Arkansas Leader, October 20, 2009; no longer accessible on-line.
  5. Arkansas House of Representatives elections, 2014: District 14. Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on December 10, 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Opponents of Religious Freedom Bill Point Out Law Differences, Possible Unintended Consequences," Fox Channel 16 (Little Rock), April 1, 2015.
  7. HB 1228. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on December 10, 2020.
  8. "Indiana, Arkansas try to stem religious objections uproar," Atlantic Broadband, April 3, 2015.
  9. "Gov. Hutchinson signs revised religious freedom bill; HB 1228 recalled," KTHV-TV (Little Rock), April 2, 2015; material no longer accessible on-line.
  10. Claudia Lauer and Michael R. Wickline (March 17, 2015). Senate backs bill to set up drug testing for welfare applicants. arkansasonline.com. Retrieved on December 10, 2020.
  11. Arkansas House of Representatives elections, 2016. Ballotpedia.com. Retrieved on December 10, 2020.