Sen. Tim Hutchinson to wed former staffer

The Associated Press
Published Sunday, August 13, 2000

Barely a year after his divorce from his wife of 29 years, Sen. Tim Hutchinson, R-Ark., will marry a former member of his staff, according to members of Hutchinson's family.

Hutchinson will marry Randi Fredholm this month in a private ceremony.

Hutchinson's divorce from his wife, Donna, became final Aug. 16. At the time, Hutchinson called the breakup an "intensely personal thing."

In 1996, Hutchinson cited the breakdown of the family as one of the nation's biggest problems. The senator moved to Washington after his election that year while his wife stayed in Arkansas.

The divorce decree said the senator and his wife had lived apart for at least 18 months. Under Arkansas law, no other reason needs to be cited if the divorce is not contested.

"When we divorced, he told me he was going to wait a year and marry Ms. Fredholm," Donna Hutchinson told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Friday night.

State Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson, R-Little Rock, said that his father requested that, "out of our respect for my mother, we not attend the wedding." He was referring to himself and brothers Timothy Chad Hutchinson of Fayetteville and Joshua Hutchinson of Little Rock.

"We're in the public eye and I understand that, but I don't discuss my family with anybody but my family," Joshua Hutchinson said.

When Rep. John Paul Hammerschmidt retired from the U.S. House in 1992, Hutchinson was elected to succeed him as the 3rd District representative. Fredholm was a member of Hammerschmidt's staff at the time and she joined Hutchinson's staff.

In 1996, Hutchinson became the first popularly elected Republican senator in Arkansas history. In June 1997, Fredholm left Washington to run Hutchinson's office in Arkansas.

In April 1998, she left the senator's employ to attend law school full time.

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