Former Arkansas legislator Joyce Elliott experiences stroke, undergoes surgery, her family says

Arkansas Sen. Joyce Elliott, D-Little Rock, speaks at the state Capitol, April 10, 2013, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Joyce Elliott, a former Arkansas state legislator who ran for Congress twice, has undergone surgery after experiencing a stroke, her family said Thursday.

Elliott, 73, experienced the stroke while in Dallas, Texas, this week and has since been transferred to Little Rock, her family said in a statement.

“She underwent a successful surgery, but doctors have not made any determinations about her long-term prognosis,” the statement said. “It is expected that she will begin a rehabilitation program as soon as she is able.”

Elliott served in the state House of Representatives from 2001 to 2007 and in the state Senate from 2009 to 2023. She won the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 2nd Congressional District, which includes the Little Rock area, but lost the general election to Republican Tim Griffin.

In 2020, she ran again for the seat as the party’s nominee but lost the general election to Republican Rep. French Hill. Elliott is the executive director of Get Loud Arkansas, a group formed to register and mobilize voters.

“We all have a better home because of her selflessness,” state Democratic Party Chairman Grant Tennille said in a statement. “Today, we are rallying behind her, praying for her health, and respecting her privacy.”