The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas presented its third Sidney S. McMath Public Service Leadership Award to former 13-term U.S. Rep. John Paul Hammerschmidt (R).

Hammerschmidt represented Arkansas' Third Congressional District from 1967-1993.

The Sidney S. McMath Public Service Leadership Award was created by the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas to recognize outstanding leadership by a public official that results in improvements to the quality of life of rural Arkansans. The ECA noted that Gov. McMath’s “unwavering support” of the electric cooperative movement in Arkansas, along with his other accomplishments on behalf of Arkansans, set the standard for public service.

“Because of my longtime relationship with and support of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, it is my truly great honor to receive the prestigious Sidney S. McMath award for public service,” said Hammerschmidt, who retired from Congress in 1993. “I accept it with deep appreciation for my longtime cooperative friends, but what makes it doubly rewarding is that it bears the name of one the most progressive and finest governors to serve our great state.”

Hammerschmidt voted on many occasions to support legislative issues as funding of the Power Marketing Administrations and the Rural Utilities Service loan programs.  He also helped fund and oversee approval by the agencies involved in the licensing necessary to construct three hydropower plants along the Arkansas River.

Honorees are presented a statue of McMath that depicts his dedication to the electric cooperative movement. Rep. Marion Berry, D. Ark. and Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, D. Ark. are the two previous award recipients.

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