Senator Bart Hester is a life-long Arkansan. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Management at the University of Arkansas and played on the Arkansas Razorback Baseball Team.
Hester is married to his high school sweetheart, Ashley, and they have four children. He and his family are members of First Baptist Church in Bentonville, where he serves as a deacon.
In 2017 and 2019, Senator Hester was the Senate Majority Whip and Senate Majority Leader respectively. He has been elected to serve as Senate Pro Tempore for the 2021-2023 sessions.
What led you to your career and how did you get to where you are today?
A decade ago, I felt the Lord leading me to get more involved in politics. In 2012, I ran for State Senate and have spent the last 10 years doing my best to work well with all of my colleagues. Members of the Senate want a leader that cares about them and works toward the success of the whole state, and I have worked hard to demonstrate that I meet both of those criteria.
Can you share a specific story that relates to what you do and how God is using you to make a difference?
Constituent services is very impactful work. I remember several years ago a young family who had a toddler with clubbed feet reached out to me. Their insurance had lapsed, and in the month she did not receive therapy, she reverted to crawling again. We were able to get her family’s insurance fixed within a day, and within a few weeks the toddler was walking again. I will never know her, nor will she know me, but it will matter to her for the rest of her life, and the privilege of getting to help in that situation will always be a blessing to me.
How does your faith relate to your job?
My faith provides for me a consistent foundation that difficult issues can be simplified back to. On a daily basis, my faith calls me to do my best to treat everyone with respect and kindness regardless of how hostile an issue is. Just like in everyday life, kindness sets you apart.
Do you have anything else you would like to add, such as advice you would give to your younger self or someone pursuing the same career path?
If I could give my younger self advice, I would encourage myself to take wins regardless of how small they seem at the time. I spent many early years working on all or none solutions, and specifically in politics that is not a fruitful strategy.