LITTLE ROCK — The incoming House speaker announced Thursday that he would step down from his position as a bank executive to devote more time to his new job in the Legislature.
Rep. Davy Carter, R-Cabot, said he would resign as division president at Centennial Bank, a subsidiary of Conway-based Home Bancshares. He said he would remain on the bank’s regional board of directors.
When the 89th General Assembly convenes Monday, Carter will be installed as the first Republican speaker of the Arkansas House since Reconstruction. He was elected to the post following the November general election, in which the GOP gained majorities in both chambers of the Legislature for the first time in nearly 140 years.
“When I ran for speaker, I committed 110 percent of my time and energy towards working for the people of Arkansas, which is why I am resigning from my day-to-day duties at the bank,” Carter said Thursday. “Right now I am completely focused on the legislative session and the many issues we will face in the upcoming months.”
Carter, a 37-year-old lawyer, was elected to the District 48 House seat in 2008 and is beginning his third House term.
Meeting with reporters this week, Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, praised Carter’s youth, bipartisanship and reformer reputation.
“He reminds me of me when I got here,” said Beebe, who served 20 years in the state Senate. “He’s just a bright, thoughtful, good representative of his district, and frankly the kind of thoughtful and deliberate legislator that you would want to see, and I think he’s a leader.”