Davy Carter

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Russell Davis "Davy" Carter
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
In office
January 2009 – January 2015 (pending)
Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives
In office
January 2013 – January 2015 (pending)
Preceded by Robert Moore
Personal details
Born (1975-03-31) March 31, 1975 (age 39)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cara Carter
Children Three children
Residence Cabot, Lonoke County
Arkansas, USA
Alma mater Arkansas State University

Louisiana State University School of Banking
William H. Bowen School of Law at University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Occupation Banker and attorney
Religion Baptist

Russell Davis Carter, known as Davy Carter (born March 31, 1975), is the Republican Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives, a position which he has held since January 2013. A resident of Cabot in Lonoke County, Carter has represented District 43 since 2009. Because of term limits he was ineligible to seek reelection in 2014.[1]

Carter is the first Republican Speaker since Reconstruction.[2] He won on a secret vote of fifty-two to forty-five against a more moderate fellow Republican, Terry Rice of Waldron in Scott County. Carter received a score of 89 from the Advance Arkansas Institute on issues of smaller government, individual freedom and lower taxes, ranking among the 10 most conservative members of the House.[3] Carter depended on bipartisan support to win because his party controls only fifty-one of the one hundred House seats.[4]

Carter graduated from Arkansas State University at Jonesboro, Arkansas, the Louisiana State University School of Banking in Baton Rouge, and the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.[5] When he became Speaker, Carter resigned from his private sector job as division president of Centennial Bank, a subsidiary of Home Bancshares of Conway, Arkansas. He remains on the bank board of directors.[6] Prior to becoming Speaker, Carter was the chairman of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee even while the chamber was under Democratic control.[4]

Carter is known for his good working relationship with Democratic Governor Mike Beebe and had been mentioned as a Republican candidate to succeed Beebe in 2014.[6] However, he declined to run for governor and instead endorsed the party's unsuccessful 2006 nominee for the post, former U.S. Representative Asa Hutchinson, who is also a former United States Secretary of Homeland Security. Hutchinson lost to Beebe by a wide margin in a heavily Democrat year.[7] Carter has since returned to Centennial Bank as CEO of its Jonesboro Community Bank, formed when Centennial merged with Liberty Bank of Arkansas.

In the Republican primary held on May 20, 2014, Tim Lemons, with 1,728 votes (61 percent) defeated intraparty rival Darlene Byrd, who polled 1,091 votes (39 percent), for the party's nomination to succeed Carter.[8]


  1. ^ "Davy Carter, R-43". arkansashouse.org. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ One former Democratic Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives, Sterling R. Cockrill of Little Rock, later switched in 1970 to the Republican Party to run, unsuccessfully as it developed, for lieutenant governor against the Democrat Bob C. Riley.
  3. ^ "Arkansas’s Freedom Scorecard: How Our State Legislators Voted on Questions of Liberty and Good Government". 
  4. ^ a b "Chuck Bartels, Arkansas House Elects Davy Carter as Speaker, 52-46, November 15, 2012". arkansasbusiness.com. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Representative Davy Carter's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Brantley, Max (January 10, 2013). "House Speaker Davy Carter leaving bank job UPDATE". Arkansas Times. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  7. ^ Brantley, Max (May 17, 2013). "Davy Carter won't make race for governor". Arkansas Times. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Arkansas Primary Election Results, May 20, 2014". KATV. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
Preceded by
Robert Moore
Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives from Lonoke County

Russell Davis "Davy" Carter

Succeeded by