Debra Hobbs

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Debra Hobbs
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the 94th district
In office
January 2013 – January 2015
Preceded bySkip Carnine
Succeeded byRebecca Petty
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the 96th district
In office
January 2009 – January 2013
Preceded byKeven Anderson
Succeeded byDuncan Baird
Personal details
Born (1955-07-08) July 8, 1955 (age 64)
Hörsching, Austria
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Lewis Ray Hobbs (1977–present)
Alma materUniversity of the Ozarks
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Debra May Hobbs, also known as Debbie Hobbs (born July 8, 1955), is a businesswoman from Rogers, Arkansas, who is a Republican former member of the Arkansas House of Representatives. From January 2013 to 2015, she represented District 94 in Benton County in northwestern Arkansas. From 2009 to 2013, she was the representative for District 96, now held by another Benton County Republican, Grant Hodges.

Term-limited in the House, Hobbs ran for Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas in the Republican primary election held on May 20, 2014, she finished a distant third with 16 percent of the vote; the nomination went instead to departing U.S. Representative Tim Griffin of Arkansas's 2nd congressional district.[1] Hobbs had been a candidate for governor of Arkansas but decided to switch to the lieutenant governor position because of poor fundraising compared to her better-known primary opponents, Tim Griffin and Andy Mayberry.[2][3]


Hobbs was born in Hörsching, Austria, she graduated in 1973 from MacArthur High School in Houston, Texas.[4] In 1977, she procured a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville in Johnson County in northwestern Arkansas. In 1987, she earned a Master of Science in Counseling Education from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.[5]

Hobbs is a former teacher and counselor now engaged in business,[6] her husband, Lewis Ray Hobbs (also born 1955), is the president and chief executive officer of Daisy Outdoor Products. The couple has two children, Amanda Gunther and husband, J.J., and Jonathan, a special needs adult. The Hobbses are members of the New Hope Church of the Nazarene in Rogers. Hobbs is also affiliated with the Drug-Free Rogers/Lowell Coalition.[5]

Political life[edit]

Hobbs is a former secretary of the Benton County Sunshine School Board,[5] she formerly served on the Benton County Quorum Court, equivalent to county commission in other states.[6]

In 2008, Hobbs was elected without opposition to the District 96 House seat vacated by fellow Republican Keven Anderson,[7] she was reelected without opposition in the general elections of 2010[8] and 2012, when she was switched to District 94.[9] In her last year in the House, she is second in seniority, surpassed only by fellow Republican Duncan Baird, her successor in District 96[6] and a 2014 candidate for state treasurer.

Hobbs serves on the Arkansas Legislative Council and these legislative committees: (1) Education, (2) Performance Review, (3) State Agencies and Governmental Affairs, she is the chairman of the Subcommittee on State Agencies and Reorganization.[5]

In 2009, Hobbs opposed expanding eligibility for children's health insurance, she supported allowing unlicensed assistants to perform simple medical procedures.[10]

In 2011, Hobbs co-sponsored the Capital Gains Reduction Act and the reduction of taxes on manufacturers' utilities, she opposed school dress codes and banning cell phone usage in school zones, but both measures were approved by the House. Hobbs 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, she voted for the 2011 U.S. congressional redistricting bill.[10]

In 2013, Hobbs co-sponsored amending state income tax rates and a spending cap on state spending, but the second measure failed by two House votes, she voted to override Governor 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 and to classify the death of an unborn child as a felony in certain situations. Hobbs voted to override Beebe's veto of the bill requiring photo identification as a condition for voting in Arkansas. Hobbs co-sponsored the measure to allow the staff of religious institutions to engage in concealed carry of firearms for church safety, she voted for a similar measure to empower university officials to be armed with concealed weapons. Hobbs co-sponsored legislation to prohibit the governor from regulating firearms during an emergency, she supported the bill, signed by Beebe, to permit the sale of five hundred gallons of milk per month directly from the farm to consumers. She co-sponsored the tiered system for lottery scholarships.[10]

In Republican primary on May 20, 2014, Rebecca Petty, with 877 votes (55 percent), defeated intraparty rival Margaret Wolf, with 707 votes (45 percent), for the party's nomination to succeed Hobbs, effective in January 2015. Petty then won the November 4, 2014 general election over the Democrat Grimsley Graham, 3,199 votes (57 percent) to 2,374 (43 percent).


  1. ^ "Arkansas Primary Election Results, May 20, 2014". KATV. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  2. ^ Tolbert, Jason (May 9, 2013). "Rep. Debra Hobbs Considering A Run For Governor (UPDATED)". Talk Business Arkansas. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  3. ^ Moritz, Rob (February 12, 2014). "Republican candidate switches to lieutenant governor's race". Arkansas News. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  4. ^ "About Debra". Archived from the original on January 21, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "Debra Hobbs' Biography". Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Representative Debra M. Hobbs (R)". Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  7. ^ "State Representative District 096 - Certified, 2008". Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  8. ^ "State Representative District 096 - Certified, 2010". Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  9. ^ "Arkansas House of Representatives elections, 2012". Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c "Debra Hobbs' Voting Records". Retrieved January 8, 2014.