Last modified on December 17, 2020, at 16:02

Karen Hopper

Karen S. Hopper

Arkansas State Representative
for District 81
In office
January 2009 – January 2013
Preceded by Johnny Key
Succeeded by Justin Harris

Arkansas State Representative
for District 100
In office
January 2013 – January 2015
Preceded by Mary Lou Slinkard
Succeeded by Nelda Speaks

Born 1960
Place of birth missing
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) John Fred Waddell
Residence Lakeview, Baxter County
Arkansas, USA

Business address:
Mountain Home, Baxter County

Alma mater Murray State University
Occupation University administrator
Religion United Methodist

Karen S. Hopper (born 1960) is a university administrator from Mountain Home, Arkansas, who is a Republican former state representative from two different districts. From January 2013 to January 2015, she represented District 100 in Baxter County in the northwestern section of the state next to the Missouri border. From 2009 to 2013, she was the representative for District 81, now held by another Republican, Justin Harris of Washington County .


Hopper holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Advertising from Murray State University in Murray in western Kentucky.[1] She is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, Special Projects, and Distance Learning at the Mountain Home campus of Arkansas State University, based in Russellville in Pope County. She is a director of the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce and a member of both her local Rotary International and the National Rifle Association.[2]

Hopper and her husband, John Fred Waddell (born May 12, 1944), reside in Lakeview in Baxter County.

Political life

Hopper was the senior district representative for former U.S. Representatives Tim Hutchinson and Asa Hutchinson, when each held Arkansas' 3rd congressional district seat.[2] In 2008, she was elected to the District 81 House seat vacated by fellow Republican Johnny Key, who was instead elected to the state Senate. Hopper received 8,596 votes (61.3 percent), compared to 3,032 (21.6 percent) for the Democrat Danny K. Rowe and 2,402 (17.1 percent) for the Independent Bonnie B. Brown.[3] She was reelected without opposition in the general elections of 2010 and 2012, when she was switched to District 100, the last numerically of the Arkansas legislative seats.

Hopper served on the Arkansas Legislative Council and these legislative committees: (1) State Agencies and Governmental Affairs, (2) Education, (3) Joint Committee on Advanced Communications and information Technology.[1][2]

Representative Hopper in 2013 voted to override Democratic then Governor Mike Beebe's vetoes of bills to prohibit abortion after twenty weeks of gestation or once fetal heartbeat is detected. She voted to prohibit abortion coverage in state employees health insurance plans. Hopper also voted to override Beebe's veto of the law requiring photo identification as a condition for voting in Arkansas. She did not vote on the proposed spending cap on state spending, but the measure failed by two House votes. Hopper voted to allow the staff of universities and religious institutions to engage in the concealed carry of firearms for campus and church safety. She opposed the law, signed by Governor Beebe, to permit the sale of five hundred gallons of milk per month directly from the farm to consumers.[4]

In 2011, Hopper co-sponsored the Capital Gains Reduction Act and the reduction of taxes on manufacturers' utilities. She did not vote on the issue of school dress codes but opposed the successful attempt to ban cell phone usage in school zones. She supported curriculum standards for Bible instruction in public schools and voted to require that driver's license tests be given only in the English language.[4]

In 2009, Representative Hopper voted against increases in the state minimum wage and the state tobacco tax. She voted to prohibit texting and cell phone use while driving a vehicle. She opposed the law making a seat-belt violation a primary offense.[4]

Hopper was term-limited under the then state law in 2014. Her successor, fellow Republican Nelda Speaks, a former Baxter County treasurer and justice of the peace.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Karen Hopper, R-100. Retrieved on January 8, 20; information no longer on-line.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Karen Hopper's Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on December 8, 2020.
  3. State Representative District 081 - Certified, 2008. Arkansas Secretary of State. Retrieved on January 7, 2014.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Karen Hopper's Voting Records. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on December 9, 2020.