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Winston Bryant (born October 3, 1938) is a former Democratic Secretary of State (1977–1978), the 14th Lieutenant Governor (1981–1991) and attorney general (1991–1999) of the U.S. state of Arkansas.[1]

Winston Bryant
52nd Attorney General of Arkansas
In office
January 15, 1991 – January 12, 1999
GovernorBill Clinton
Jim Guy Tucker
Mike Huckabee
Preceded bySteve Clark
Succeeded byMark Pryor
14th Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas
In office
January 19, 1981 – January 15, 1991
GovernorFrank D. White
Bill Clinton
Preceded byJoe Purcell
Succeeded byJim Guy Tucker
Secretary of State of Arkansas
In office
GovernorDavid Pryor
Preceded byGeorge O. Jernigan Jr.
Succeeded byPaul Riviere
Personal details
Born (1938-10-03) October 3, 1938 (age 80)
Malvern, Arkansas
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Susan Hughes Bryant
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1963–1965
RankUS military captain's rank.gif Captain
Battles/warsVietnam War

He was born in Malvern, the seat of Hot Spring County. He is married to the former Susan Hughes and has one son, John Bryant.

In 1960, Bryant graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. He graduated in 1963 from University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville. He received a Master of Laws (Administrative Law) from George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. in 1970.[2] He was a legislative assistant to the late U.S. Senator John L. McClellan from 1968 to 1971. Thereafter, he was a prosecuting attorney in his native Hot Spring County and a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1973 to 1977.

Elected Secretary of State in 1976, he vacated the office after one term, describing it as "a glorified janitor's job." He unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives from Arkansas' Fourth District on 1978 which was being vacated by Ray Thornton, who ran for the U.S. Senate. Bryant led the five-man primary, but lost in a runoff to Union County Prosecuting Attorney Beryl Anthony, Jr. He was Elected Lieutenant Governor in 1982 and served one term under Republican Governor Frank White and three terms under Democrat Bill Clinton before being elected Attorney General in 1990. He won 55-45% for the post over future Congressman and Governor Asa Hutchinson, and was renominated in the 1994 Democratic primary 58-42% over State Representative (and future U.S. Senator) Mark Pryor. Bryant triumphed in the ordinarily heavily Republican year by a margin of 80-20% over his GOP opponent, Dan Ivy, an attorney and former Democrat.

While serving as Attorney General, Bryant waged two separate campaigns for the United States Senate. In 1996, he ran for the seat being vacated by Senator David Pryor. He received the Democratic nomination in a close runoff primary against State Senator and Future University of Central Arkansas President Lu Hardin, but lost in a close race to Republican Congressman Tim Hutchinson. When Arkansas's other senator, Dale Bumpers, retired before the 1998 election, Bryant once again ran in the Democratic primary. He placed second in the initial balloting, and lost the run-off to former Representative Blanche Lincoln who went on to defeat Republican state Senator Fay Boozman in the general election. After his defeat by Lincoln, he finished his term as Attorney General and retired to his law practice in Malvern.

Career chronologyEdit

  • U.S. Army, rank of Captain (1963–65)
  • Arkansas Insurance Commission Attorney (1966)
  • Assistant U. S. Attorney Eastern District of Arkansas (1967)
  • Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator John L. McClellan in Washington, D. C. (1968–1971)
  • Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Hot Spring County, Arkansas (1971–72)
  • State Representative Hot Spring County (1973–77)
  • Arkansas Secretary of State (1977–78)
  • Member of the Arkansas Constitutional Convention from Hot Spring County (1979)
  • Arkansas Lt. Governor (1981–90)
  • Arkansas Attorney General (1991–99)


  1. ^ "Ark. Democrats Pick Senate Nominee In Runoff". Lawrence Journal-World. June 10, 1998.
  2. ^ "Winston Bryant Resume". 1938-10-03. Retrieved 2015-04-04.
Political offices
Preceded by
George O. Jernigan, Jr.
Secretary of State of Arkansas
1977 - 1979
Succeeded by
Paul Riviere
Preceded by
Joe Purcell
Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas
January 19, 1981 - January 15, 1991
Succeeded by
Jim Guy Tucker
Legal offices
Preceded by
Steve Clark
Attorney General of Arkansas
January 15, 1991 - January 12, 1999
Succeeded by
Mark Pryor
Party political offices
Preceded by
David Pryor
Democratic Party nominee for United States Senator from Arkansas (Class 2)
Succeeded by
Mark Pryor