Republican Rep. Davy Carter elected state House Speaker

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) State representatives voted Thursday to name Rep. Davy Carter (R-Cabot) as the Speaker of the House for the coming legislative session.

Carter beat out fellow Republican Rep. Terry Rice (R-Waldron) in a 52-45 vote.Representative Darrin Williams (D-Little Rock) has served as Speaker Designate for the past 8 months. Williams would have been the first African-American House Speaker, but he did not get the 51 votes needed to officially earn the position.

The election of Rep. Carter is seen as a reflection of the November 6 general election that gave Republicans a House majority for the first time since Reconstruction. Republicans hold 51 House seats, Democrats 48 and the final seat is held by a Green Party member who traditionally aligns with Democrats.