Ex-Sen. Kaneaster Hodges, who served just over a year, dies

NEWPORT, Ark. (AP) — Former Arkansas U.S. Sen. Kaneaster Hodges Jr., who served just more than one year in office in the 1970s, has died.

Hodges died of natural causes Wednesday, according to Jackson Funeral Home in his hometown of Newport. He was 83.

Hodges, a Democrat, served in office from December 1977 until January 1979 after being appointed by then-Gov. David Pryor to fill out the expired term of Sen. John McClellan, who died in office. Hodges, who was also an ordained Methodist minister, did not seek election in 1978 to a full term in the Senate, a race won by Pryor.

Pryor and McClellan were also Democrats. Hodges worked for McClellan’s reelection campaign in 1972 and for Pryor’s gubernatorial campaign in 1974.

After leaving office, Hodges returned to Newport to resume his career as a lawyer and served on several boards and commissions, including as a trustee for Arkansas College — now Lyon College — and the University of Arkansas, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

The funeral home said services will be Tuesday afternoon in Newport.

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