Thursday, November 15, 2012

Republican Davy Carter elected Arkansas House speaker

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 2:18 PM

**** UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE ****

David Carter was chosen House Speaker

It's done. The Arkansas House of Representatives has elected as its speaker for 2013-14, Republican Davy Carter. The secret ballot vote was for 52 for Davy Carter and 45 for Terry Rice. The House is split 51-48-1 in favor of Republicans, with one Green representative. Republicans were split on the election (some bitterly), with many, generally the more conservative members, wanting to stick with Rice. He'd made no promises of bipartisanship when he ran last spring and finished behind a Democrat, though he struck a conciliatory note today. Carter, a late-developing candidate with significant Democratic backing, was seen as more likely to return favors to Democrats. Carter himself held an important chairmanship under current Speaker Robert Moore, a Democrat. Carter, however, is conventionally conservative on most issues, though his selection could be crucial to an eventual bipartisan agreement on expanding Medicaid under federal health legislation.

Republicans rode to a legislative majority in this year's election by promising to-the-death opposition to every element of President Obama's health care plan. Now, with Obama re-elected and Obamacare moving forward, some Republicans are changing tunes as the alternative - punishing cuts to nursing homes and hospitals - begin to become a reality.

What's to make of the vote? At least one Democrat - probably more - put Carter over the top. But that also would mean some Democrats voted with Rice.

We'll never know for sure, but I can't find anybody who can count more than six firm Carter votes in the Republican caucus - Carter, John Burris, Bruce Westerman, Charlie Collins, Duncan Baird and Matt Shepherd seem the likeliest suspects. That would take the 51-member GOP caucus down to the 45 votes Rice received, giving Carter the six, 45 Dems and a Green, if the three non-voting were all Democrats. But these are a lot of ifs and pure conjecture.

Darrin Williams waiting to hear the outcome of his confirmation vote
  • Cheree Franco
  • Darrin Williams waiting to hear the outcome of his confirmation vote

***** UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE ******

From earlier:

The Arkansas House of Representatives today chose leadership for the next session.

It opened with Democrat Darrin Williams of Little rock speaking for confirmation of his earlier election as speaker for 2013. He pledged bipartisan leadership and urged Arkansas to become a "standardbearer" for such leadership nationwide by continuing his selection to lead a group that the election changed from majority Democratic to majority Republican.

"I am much more than a party label," Williams said. He would have been the first black speaker of the House.

The vote NOT to continue his selection was by secret ballot.

A party-line vote, with 51 of the Republicans opposing continuation of Williams, wa expected. Then the question was to be a new election, with Terry Rice, runnerup to Williams last spring, challenged by another Republican, Davy Carter, who has at least some support from the Democratic caucus. The Republican caucus is split on which to favor.

UPDATE: The vote was 48 to affirm, 49 not to affirm. That opened the position. Green Party Rep.-elect Fred Smith said he voted for Williams. That means at least one Democrat defected if it was otherwise a party line vote. And two Republicans didn't vote, if it was a party line vote.

Williams said the outcome was exactly what he expected, but that he wasn't disappointed, and he would back whoever was elected. "This is the process...it's never been about me. It's about the people of Arkansas...I'll still be the first black speaker designate, but it was not about me."

UPDATE III: Only Terry Rice and Davy Carter nominated themselves to be speaker. Williams didn't pursue another vote. They spoke for their nominations.

Carter, speaking first and off the cuff, acknowledged a "difficult process." He said the group will have to work together. "I promise you, whatever situation we're in to best of my human ability, that I will do what i think is the right thing to do. That's all I can give."

He said he'd listen and work with everyone and that everyone would be involved. "I'm asking this chamber to be unified."

Rice complimented Darrin Williams. He also noted that his father and grandfather had both been Democratic representatives. He said he'd select leadership based on ability, not party affiliation. "This is about fairness and I am a fair man," he said.

He, too, promised that every voice would be heard.

He said we wanted to promote an economic agenda - to reduce the state income tax and to fight "over-regulation." He also said he wanted to reduce government waste and make government smaller.

A secret ballot vote decided the next speaker. At 2:12 p.m., Moore announced Carter's historic ascension.

Westerman dodged questions about why Carter was elected, saying nothing beyond, "he got more votes," and admitting that he wasn't surprised there were two Republican nominations.

Carter said, "I have had, my strongest supporters, we have had communications ongoing. Again, this progressed pretty quickly. So did I wake up and say one day I want to be speaker? No...I've been here for four years...I think I have exhibited a trust with the body...really the bottom line of the whole matter is that I'm committed to working with the diverse membership body for the collective citizens of the state of Arkansas...These are unique times. We have national politics and a contentious presidential race, and you have a 51/49 party split in the house...humbly, I think I can fit the role to have relationships with both parties...we had a vote of the entire membership on the floor, it was bipartisan, secret ballot, and I had support of the entire body."

He also said that there was no divisiveness in the Republican party, but that if there were relationships within the party that needed to be repaired, he would start working towards that immediately. He said he hadn't made any decisions about committee assignments yet, but that Medicaid and tax reform would be the key issues of the upcoming session.

Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • An all-star open line

    Here's the Thursday open line and today's video roundup. Also a reminder to check this year's Arkansas Times Academic All-Star Team.
    • Apr 28, 2016
  • Critic asks Highway Department to tell truth: No park in 10-lane freeway plan

    A Little Rock developer and critic of the 10-lane freeway expansion for Interstate 30 says the HIghway Departemnt should make clear a park proposal it featured at a public hearing Tuesday night is only a pipe dream. It won't be part of their project.
    • Apr 28, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Mountain Home church leader cursed for inclusiveness

    Arkansas gets some unwanted (if deserved) web attention on Crooks and Liars: From Alice Hurley, Minister,
    • Nov 12, 2014
  • Private clubs win early closing battle

    Private clubs apparently have won their battle against earlier closing hours, based on a "compromise" revealed at the City Board meeting last night.
    • Sep 10, 2014
  • That racist Leslie Rutledge email

    Blue Hog Report's Matt Campbell has unearthed an email from Leslie Rutledge's time as a lawyer with the Department of Human Services that, unlike a previous email forward that caught the attention of the Arkansas Blog and others, is going to be hard for the Republican candidate for attorney general to explain away. It's a story, which Rutledge appears to be passing along from a friend, written entirely in racist dialect.
    • Oct 9, 2014

Most Shared

  • Finalists named in UALR chancellor search

    The University of Arkansas System has announced the three finalists in the search for a successor to Joel Anderson as chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
  • Post found at Parkin at UA for dating

    A portion of a post unearthed last week by Parkin Archeological State Park archeologist Dr. Jeff Mitchem was taken to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville over the weekend for studies to determine whether it is actually the remains of a cross erected by DeSoto in 1542.
  • The top 20: Segregation of the affluent

    Thomas Edsall writes about the segregation — by education, geography and other markers — of the people in the top fifth of the income scale in the U.S. He quotes from a recent academic research paper:
  • 2016 All-Star nominees

    Here are the students nominated to be Academic All-Stars. They are listed by their hometowns, as indicated by mailing addresses.
  • Low tactics every day: Walmart education

    State Education Commissioner Johnny Key fired Baker Kurrus as Little Rock superintendent last week because he ventured off the reservation when he presented data to the state Board of Education on the damaging impact of charter schools on the district, which the state now runs. Kurrus was questioning proposed expansions of two charter schools already draining easier-to-educate children from the LRSD.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation