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
Succeeded by Tim Lemons
Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives
In office
January 2013 – January 2015
Preceded by Robert S. Moore, Jr.
Succeeded by Jeremy Gillam
Personal details
Born (1975-03-31) March 31, 1975 (age 41)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cara Carter
Children Three children, their names are Jackson, johndavid, and Anna
Residence Jonesboro, Craighead 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 former Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives, a position which he has held from 2013 to 2015. A resident of Cabot in Lonoke County, Carter represented District 43 from 2009 to 2015. Because of term limits, he was ineligible to seek reelection in 2014[1] and was succeeded by fellow Cabot Republican, Tim Lemons, a civil engineer.

Personal life[edit]

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.[2] He serves as CEO of Jonesboro Community Bank, a subsidiary of Home BancShares Inc. of Conway, which was formed as a result of the merger of Centennial Bank and Liberty Bank of Arkansas.[3]

Political career[edit]

Tenure in the Arkansas House of Representatives[edit]

Carter ran for and was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2008 to represent the Cabot area of Lonoke County. He beat an intraparty rival in the Republican primary and was unopposed in the November election. He was selected to be Chairman of the Revenue and Taxation Committee during his second term and he served as Speaker of the House from 2013 to 2015.

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.[4] Lemons then prevailed in the November 4 general election.

Chairman of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee[edit]

Carter served as Chairman of the Revenue and Taxation Committee during his second term. As Chairman, he held hearings to start the discussion of tax reform in Arkansas, during which he advocated for lower tax rates on families and businesses. “A working-class family with an annual income in the low $30,000 range is in the highest marginal tax bracket in Arkansas, even though that family’s income exceeds the federal poverty level by only $10,000 or so,” Carter said. “This needs to be addressed along with other tax ‘loopholes’ and how competitive we are with our surrounding states. Essentially, I’d like to see a broader base with lower rates across the board.”[5]

Speaker of the House[edit]

Carter is the first Republican Speaker since Reconstruction.[6] 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.[7] Carter depended on bipartisan support to win because his party controls only fifty-one of the one hundred House seats.[8]

Carter was known for his good working relationship with former Democratic Governor Mike Beebe and had been mentioned as a Republican candidate to succeed Beebe in 2014. 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 Democratic year[9]but rebounded to win the governorship in 2014.


  1. ^ "Davy Carter, R-43". arkansashouse.org. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Representative Davy Carter's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Davy Carter Named Regional President of Centennial Bank, Will Oversee Liberty Bank Deal". Arkansas Business. Retrieved September 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Arkansas Primary Election Results, May 20, 2014". KATV. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Tax Chairman Wants To Trade Exemptions For Income Tax Reform". Talk Business. Retrieved September 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Arkansas’s Freedom Scorecard: How Our State Legislators Voted on Questions of Liberty and Good Government" (PDF).  line feed character in |title= at position 30 (help)
  8. ^ "Chuck Bartels, Arkansas House Elects Davy Carter as Speaker, 52-46, November 15, 2012". arkansasbusiness.com. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  9. ^ Brantley, Max (May 17, 2013). "Davy Carter won't make race for governor". Arkansas Times. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
Preceded by
Robert Moore
Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives (Lonoke County)

Russell Davis "Davy" Carter

Succeeded by
Jeremy Gillam