LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas state officials shared Tuesday morning that Jimmie Lou Fisher, the state’s longest serving treasurer, has died.

According to a social post from the Democratic Party of Arkansas, Fisher died Monday night.

Fisher was born in Pike County in 1941. She got her start in politics in 1970 by being elected treasurer of Greene County. In 1974, Former President Bill Clinton campaign for Congress launched her state political career, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

In 1981, Fisher was elected state treasurer, an office she held for 22 years. In 2002, she ran for governor against Former Governor Mike Huckabee but lost with 47% of the vote.

Fisher served an active Democratic, participating in the party’s national conventions in 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

UPDATE

The state Democratic Party shared memories of Fisher, including that she was the first female nominee for Arkansas governor and was a four-time national delegate to the Democratic National Convention, including the nomination of Bill Clinton for president.

The party’s annual Fisher-Shackelford dinner celebrates the achievement of Democrat women.

“Jimmie Lou Fisher, only the third woman ever to be elected to statewide office in Arkansas, went on to serve a total of 22 years as state treasurer, longer than any other treasurer in Arkansas history,” former Gov. Mike Beebe said. “Not only was she one of our state’s most devoted public servants, Jimmie Lou had a great love of life, an energetic spirit, and she was a staunch advocate for education and public service. For me personally, she was a loyal friend, a trusted advisor, and a dependable ally. Saying that she was one of a kind is not a cliché in Jimmie Lou’s case; it’s the truth and we will miss her.”

“Jimmie Lou Fisher never met a stranger, and she was a friend to so many in our state,” former Little Rock Mayor and Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Lottie Shackelford said. “She was a passionate and hardworking trailblazer who never stopped working for a better Arkansas. I will miss her kindness, guidance, and friendship. In so many ways she grounded me, our party, and our politics — and we are all better to have known her and benefited from her public service. I will miss hearing her say ‘Jimmie Lou Fisher from Greene County.’” 

“Jimmie Lou Fisher broke barriers for women her whole life,” former Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said. “She was a champion for equality, fairness, kindness and faith. She was a giant who built others up and gave more opportunities than she took for herself. I will always love her and be grateful for the love she gave to me and the example she set for all of us to follow.”

Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan shared the following statement:

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of former State Treasurer Jimmie Lou Fisher this morning. Jimmie Lou was the longest-serving Treasurer of Arkansas, serving from 1981-2003. I had the pleasure of serving with Jimmie Lou on the board of directors for the Arkansas Rural Endowment Fund and always enjoyed her wit and charm. She had a graceful presence and truly cared about serving Arkansas.

Last summer I invited her to come back to the treasury and share some of her best stories from her time in office. One of the memories I recall was hearing her discuss how the tradition began of allowing the public to come into the state’s vault and hold hundreds of thousands of dollars. She offered it to children who came to tour the treasury as a way to engage them and also to help explain how their tax dollars worked. She is the one responsible for implementing the tradition of touring the vault and getting your picture made holding the money. This and the many other stories she told during our visit last summer were like taking a walk back in time, and I am undoubtedly grateful for having the chance to visit with her about how the state treasury operated back then.

Jimmie Lou had a long history in public service to our state and will forever be the state’s longest-serving treasurer. She was indeed a real Arkansas treasure. My wife, Tina, and I are praying for her family during their time of loss.”

Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan
Former State Treasurer Jimmie Lou Fisher visits with current Treasurer Dennis Milligan in the newly-restored treasury office at the State Capitol in this file photo taken in July 2021. Behind her rests a photo and plaque honoring her 22 years of service in the Treasury.