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Gus Wingfield

Arkansas State Treasurer
In office
2003 – 2007
Preceded by Jimmie Lou Fisher
Succeeded by Martha Shoffner

Born September 17, 1926 (1926-09-17) (age 83)
Antoine, Arkansas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Alice Wingfield
Residence Delight, Arkansas

Gus Wingfield (born September 17, 1926 in Antoine, Arkansas) is a former one term Arkansas State Treasurer, and two term Arkansas State Auditor, 1994-2003. He served from 2003-2007.

Contents

Early life

Wingfield was born in Antoine, Arkansas and went to a public school in the nearby town of Delight, Arkansas. He served in the Air Force, and is a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. After the Korean War he attended college at the Southern Technical Institute in Dallas, Texas, and later went to the University of Arkansas.

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Business career

Gus Wingfield became a respected employee at the Bank of Delight, where his saviness and intelligence, as well as his well connected family, helped him quickly rise the ranks. In 1968, he was hired as Executive Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors. He went on to hold that position for over 22 years, until, he retired to serve as State Auditor.

Early Political Career

He was elected in the mid 1970's to the Delight School Board. In 1978 he lost his first race for the Arkansas General Assembly by just over 300 votes. In 1980 he ran again and won the District 18 seat. He served a total of 14 years a State Representative, during which he became highly respected, and well known within Democratic circles, which helped him in the 1994 primary for State Auditor.

1994 Election as State Auditor

He left the State House of Representatives to run for State Auditor in the Republican year of 1994, however, their gains in Arkansas were minimal. The most competitive part of the race was the primary, which he narrowly won, defeating fellow State Representative Bobby Tullis by just over 3 percentage points. He went on to easily win the General Election, defeating the Republican candidate 63-37. He went on to serve two terms as a respected, and competent State Auditor without any notable controversies or slips. Indeed, that has been the sum of his entire life. Throughout his life Wingfield has been known for his strong work ethic, and his financial saviness. His political career has been remarkably low key for this day and age, (except for the major scandal which emerged in his first year as State Treasurer) which made him an almost invisible statewide official, while all the while he worked diligently and competently behind the scenes.

In 2002, When Democrat Jimmie Lou Fisher, the long time State Treasurer of Arkansas, having served the maximum number of terms under the 1994 terms limits approved by Arkansas voters, ran against incumbent Republican Mike Huckabee, Gus Wingfield ran for her open State Treasurer Seat. He won the Democratic primary easily, and ended up winning what was a surprisingly competitive and close statewide race against Randy Bynum. Wingfield took only 57% of the vote in that election, which turned out to be his smallest margin in the three statewide elections he has run, and in his entire political career. During the first year of his only term as Treasurer, three ethics complaints were filed against him for promoting his daughters to hefty salaried positions on his staff[1]. He was fined by the Arkansas State Ethics Commission[2]. This was one of the events, (others included Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels (politician) who was also accused of nepotism), which led to legislation enacted by the 2005 General Assembly to prevent nepotism in Arkansas State Government.

Political Views

Gus Wingfield is considered a part of the conservative wing of the U.S. Democratic Party. He believes abortion should be safe legal and rare, is pro-gun, and pro marriage. He nearly lost his 1994 Democratic Primary.

One reason he has always performed fairly strongly is his views, and his great understanding of the issues and problems of rural Arkansas, which have earned him much respect from rural areas across the state.

Retirement

Gus Wingfield has said he has no intentions of running for further public office, and that he would like to enjoy retirement before he dies. He told Arkansas News Bureau, in this article, [3] ""We're looking at a great trip. We want to catch Amtrak and go up through Canada and all the away across Canada and view the Rockies, do stuff like that." He has made it clear that he all he wants to do is travel parts of the U.S. he's never seen, and then when he's had his fill, he intends to come home to Delight, Arkansas, and live out the rest of his life with his wife Alice Wingfield at their local home.

Election History

2002 General Election

Candidate Votes %
Gus Wingfield (D) 445,639 57.49
Randy Bynum (R) 329,428 42.51
Gus Wingfield (D) elected State Treasurer
  • Unopposed in 1998 reelection.

1994 General Election

Candidate Votes %
Gus Wingfield (D) 423,407 62.96
Darrell Glascock (R) 249,051 37.04
Gus Wingfield (D) reelected

1994 Democratic Primary

Candidate Votes %
Gus Wingfield (D) 166,856 51.84
Bobby Tullis (D) 155,018 48.16
Gus Wingfield (D)

References

Political offices
Preceded by
Julia Hughes Jones
Arkansas State Auditor
1995-2003
Succeeded by
Jim Wood
Preceded by
Jimmie Lou Fisher
Arkansas State Treasurer
2003–2007
Succeeded by
Martha Shoffner

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