Jim House, a beloved, longtime Democratic leader in northwest Arkansas was laid to rest this weekend. He passed away Wednesday, December 5 in a tractor accident, while lending a hand on his brother’s land. Arkansas Democrats are expressing their appreciation for House, his family, and his exemplary life.
“Jim House was the person you wanted if you were looking for somebody for public service. He didn’t do it for the ego. He didn’t do it for the notoriety. He just cared about people, he loved being around people, he enjoyed it. He was always one to be smiling, to be working harder than the next guy. He just really had a love for serving people. It’s something that’s missing in the political process, frankly, on both sides of the aisle these days.” said Chairman Michael John Gray.
House called Washington County home. He served two terms in the Arkansas General Assembly from 2007 to 2011. House ran for Washington County Judge this past November and was an integral part of the grassroots effort that helped Democrats flip two state House seats for the first time since 2012. He helped elect the next generation of Democratic leaders.
Denise Garner defeated the Republican incumbent who held House’s old legislative seat.
“Jim was one of the kindest people I knew. He was tough, but gentle, brilliant but never arrogant or intimidating. He loved people and I don’t know anyone who didn’t smile when they saw him coming. He was my mentor and I loved him like a brother. Our community has lost one of our best advocates and he will be missed by everyone who knew him. He wanted me to win his old seat back by 95 votes because he was defeated by 94. He helped me do that and I hope to advocate for our constituents in a way that would have made him proud,” said State Representative-elect Denise Garner (Fayetteville).
Megan Godfrey, the youngest member of the Arkansas Legislature, won a historic victory in Springdale.
“My family and I are so saddened by the loss of our friend, Jim House. He always demonstrated hospitality, humility, and selflessness to my children and to me. We will remember him with fondness and grieve his loss today,” said State Representative-elect Megan Godfrey (Springdale).
Nicole Clowney won her first term, continuing the Washington County tradition of strong Democratic leaders.
“There just aren’t many folks as decent and good to the core as Jim House. Whether he was doing horseshoeing demonstrations for kids at the fair or campaigning in the freezing rain – he was never happier than when he was helping people and teaching them about all he knew to be good. He worked so hard for all of us. As a legislator, as a candidate, and just as a human being. We will miss you so very much, friend. And we’ll carry on your work, every day, in memory of you,” said State Representative-elect Nicole Clowney (Fayetteville).
The Washington County Democratic Party committee has this to say on Jim’s passing.
“It is with the deepest sadness that we share with you the passing of our dear friend and loyal Democrat, Jim House. Jim was a lifelong public servant, from his time in the United States Army, to his leadership of the state’s health department and tenure in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Jim cared tremendously about this county, about its people, and loved his wonderful family, who we hold in our thoughts and in our prayers tonight. Jim, you are irreplaceable.”
The Democratic Party of Arkansas extends its thoughts and prayers to the family of Jim House throughout this difficult time. His selfless devotion to making the lives of Arkansans just a little bit better, through his deeds and his aspirations, is an example for us all. His life gives us cause to celebrate.
When we talk about building a community devoted to bettering our state, Jim House must start the conversation. His passing is our loss, and his leadership should be our example. We will follow in your footsteps. #arpx pic.twitter.com/ejUqr2gLcG
— Democratic Party of Arkansas (@ArkDems) December 6, 2018