Kaneaster Hodges Jr. was involved in various pursuits during the course of his life. Including, but by no means limited to, politics. A Democrat, he briefly served in the United States Senate, where he represented Arkansas.

Though his own time in a high political office was relatively short, he was deeply involved in politics. Hodges served as an aide for multiple high-profile politicians during his career.

Hodges has passed away

Kaneaster Hodges Jr. has died, according to KATV and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Reports indicate that the cause of death was an aortic aneurysm.

His passing apparently occurred on the 23rd, but was not immediately announced to the public.

Eventually, current Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson ordered flags to be lowered to half staff in honor of Hodges. Hutchinson made the proclamation on the 25th.

Hodges' first political office came as city attorney of Newport, Arkansas in the Little Rock region. He would also become the deputy prosecuting attorney of Jackson County, Arkansas.

In 1972, Hodges was a campaign staffer for longtime incumbent U.S. Senator John L. McClellan during his re-election bid. McClellan would become locked in a close Democratic primary race with U.S. Representative David Pryor. In the end, McClellan prevailed over Pryor.

Shortly thereafter, he was named chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and later won the general election.

Two years later, David Pryor tapped Kaneaster Hodges Jr. for a top position in his ultimately successful gubernatorial campaign. Posts Hodges held during the Pryor administration include chairing the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission.

As well as serving with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

John L. McClellan died in 1977 after undergoing heart surgery. Pryor would appoint Hodges to fill the Senate seat. As a U.S. senator, Hodges took noted stances on tuition tax credits and the Panama Canal.

By law, Hodges was not allowed to run for a full term in the seat as an appointee.

Pryor would run for and win the ensuing race for the seat. He would eventually go on to chair the Senate Aging Committee. His son, Mark, would also become a member of the U.S. Senate after being the attorney general of Arkansas.

Hodges was also a Methodist pastor

Kaneaster Hodges Jr. graduated from high school in Newport and worked as a farmer. He would obtain a degree in religion from Princeton University. Which he followed by graduating from the Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University.

Afterward, Hodges served as a pastor in Acushnet in southern Massachusetts. During that timeframe, he earned a master's degree in pastoral counseling from Boston University. Later, he was a chaplain at the prison on Rikers Island in New York City.

In addition, Hodges obtained a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Among his classmates was Jim Guy Tucker. Tucker would become a U.S. representative and attorney general, lieutenant governor and governor of Arkansas. He resigned as governor after becoming a convicted felon stemming from his involvement in the infamous Whitewater affair.

In 1960, Hodges married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Lindley Williams. They would have two children. His niece, Betsy Hodges, served as mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota.