Former State Senator James “Jim” Argue, Jr. passed away on Thursday (May 3) at the age of 66 after a brief illness, according to his family.
Argue, who served as Senate President Pro Tempore and was a State Representative, represented a large portion of Little Rock. A Democrat, Argue was often a thoughtful and cerebral voice in the Arkansas Legislature. He was known for his intellect, humor and compassion, and he was a forceful negotiator in the landmark Lake View resolution that redefined Arkansas public school funding.
Born in 1951 to Rev. and Mrs. James B. Argue, Sr. He attended Little Rock Public Schools, graduated from Little Rock Hall High School, and earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Hendrix College in 1973. He was a long-time member of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, according to a biography provided by The United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas, which he served as its longtime president.
“Jim’s career goes far beyond his 35-plus years of service at the helm of the United Methodist Foundation,” said Clarence Trice, Senior Vice President and CFO. “His continuing national leadership on education issues, his long-term leadership in the Arkansas General Assembly, and his local board leadership with Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families are marks of his commitment to Methodist principles.”
In 1981, Argue became President of the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas. During his tenure, the foundation’s assets expanded from $67,000 to more than $164 million, according to the group.
Argue was the President Pro Tempore of the Arkansas State Senate for the 85th General Assembly, representing the 32nd District, from 1996 to 2008. Previously, he was a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1991 through 1996.
He is survived by his wife, Elise, and two daughters, Sarah and Emily.
Talk Business & Politics will update this story later tonight.