Arkansas House Elects Davy Carter As Speaker, 52-45

by Chuck Bartels  on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 5:22 pm  

The vote was 52 for Rep. Davy Carter of Cabot, above, and 45 for Rep. Terry Rice of Waldron.

"It takes every single one of us to make this work," Carter said. "As we go through this process ... I'm asking this chamber to be unified in the direction we're headed."

Carter and Rice both pledged to work with both parties. Republicans now hold a 51-48-1 edge over Democrats and the Green Party, which holds one House seat.

"It is time for both parties to work together in legislation as they've never done before," Rice said. He didn't comment publicly after his loss and didn't return a voice mail from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Carter said after the vote that he understood there are some hurt feelings among some of his fellow Republicans.

"I probably do (have relationships to repair), I will start that immediately," Carter said.

Carter said he wants the parties to be proportionately represented on committees but didn't say when assignments would be made.

Rice's allies said they were saddened by his second loss for the speaker's post.

"He has helped a lot of people, and by helping a lot of people it came back and bit him," said Rep. Jonathan Barnett, R-Siloam Springs. "He helped raise money for people that voted against him today."

While making a case that he should remain as speaker, Williams had pledged to have a non-partisan style.

"I am willing to take the first step, regardless of the outcome of this election," Williams said. In an emotional speech, he said he was "the product of an adulterous relationship" and adopted by a minister and his wife who taught him God was the most important member of their family.

Carter, a banker and attorney who has been in the House for four years, said he won support from experienced legislators.

"I think, humbly, I can fit that role," Carter said.

Rep. Fred Smith, the lone Green Party member elected to the House, said he voted for Carter.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast or distributed.) 



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