GOP Speaker-Elect Visits Northwest Arkansas

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Collins is seen, left, with House Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot.

Rep. Davy Carter, R-Cabot, the incoming House speaker, was at 5NEWS in Fayetteville on Thursday morning (Dec. 13), taping two interview segments for the station’s weekend public affairs show.

The show airs on KXNW TV-34 on Saturday at 8 a.m. and on KFSM TV-5 on Sunday at 7 a.m. It also will be posted early next week on

During one segment, Carter appears  in a one-on-one interview, and later appears in a second segment with Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville. (Collins, left, and Carter are shown in a photograph taken during their visit to 5NEWS early Thursday.)

Among other topics, Carter addresses his decision to hire a Democrat to a key House staff position. He also talks about his late entry into the speaker’s race against Rep. Terry Rice, R-Waldron. Immediately after the Nov. 6 general election giving Republicans control of the House, Rice had been presumed to be the only GOP nominee for the top House post.

On the show, Carter and Collins also discuss issues expected to take center stage when the General Assembly meets Jan. 14, including Medicaid expansion and tax reform. Collins also addresses potential legislation regarding guns on college campuses and abortion.

Later Thursday, Carter and Collins met with legislators, the public and reporters at Neal’s Cafe in Springdale and other locations.

Carter was elected speaker Nov. 15 on a 52-45 vote in the 100-member chamber.

One day earlier, a half dozen local Republicans met at Neal’s Cafe with Cater to discuss electing him speaker. That meeting was put together by Collins.

Carter is the first Republican speaker since post-Civil War Reconstruction.

In November, Republicans won 51 House seats to take control of the lower chamber for the first time since Reconstruction.

Democrats now hold 48 seats. A Green Party member is expected to caucus with the Democrats.