Newly-appointed Arkansas Speaker of the House and ASU alum Rep. Davy Carter to be recognized at football game
JONESBORO, Ark. — For as far back as he can remember, Davy Carter has wanted to help people. The road he has traveled has led him to that goal—helping people in his home state of Arkansas. And, for his efforts, the Arkansas State University graduate will be recognized at the Red Wolves’ football game with Middle Tennessee State Saturday, Dec. 1. Kickoff is 2 p.m. in Liberty Bank Stadium.
Rep. Russell Davis “Davy” Carter III is serving his second term in Arkansas’ House of Representatives, representing District 48 that includes part of Lonoke County. He was first elected in 2009 and then again in 2011. By a secret ballot vote of 52-45, Carter was recently elected Speaker of the House for the 89th General Assembly, the first Republican Speaker-elect since the end of the Civil War.
“We are honored to have Rep. Carter back on our campus," said ASU Chancellor Tim Hudson. "His recent selection as Arkansas’ Speaker of the House of Representatives is indicative of the respect and admiration his peers in the legislature have for him. We share their feelings and are proud to have him and his wife, Cara, as alumni of Arkansas State University. There will be many exciting activities surrounding the conference championship football game and the special recognition of Rep. Davy Carter is certainly high on the list.”
The 37-year-old Carter, a resident of Cabot, attended high school in Marianna, then graduated from Arkansas State University in 1997 with a bachelor of science degree in corporate finance. He went on to the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University and subsequently received a law degree from the W.H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. Rep. Carter will assume the House Speaker duties when the legislature convenes in January.
“It’s hard to say the exact point in my life where I knew I wanted to be involved in politics,” said Rep. Carter. “I would have to say that whatever inherent desire I had was probably enhanced while I was in law school.”
He also credits his time as a student at ASU as a powerful influence on his life.
“I absolutely loved my time at ASU,” he continued. “I met my wife there, many cherished friends, and received a great education.
“My uncle, Dr. Russ Jones (professor of Computer and Information Technology in the College of Business), is a long-time professor at ASU, and his strong support of the school over the years certainly influenced my decision to attend Arkansas State. Additionally, as a ‘delta’ boy from Marianna, the east Arkansas location was also very important to me along with the fact that many of my best friends from home attended there.”
Carter’s wife, Cara, also has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from ASU and his sister, Janna Lyn Gore, has a bachelor’s degree.
In addition, he says that his ASU experience “absolutely” helped to prepare for his career in politics and desire to serve the people of his state.
“This world is all about relationships. To be successful in business or politics or whatever, you must be able to listen and communicate with other people. My time at ASU certainly helped me grow in that regard, both inside the classroom and out.”
The Speaker of the House is elected by the House membership every two years. The duties include presiding over the body of representatives, supervision of business, recognizing members to speak, assignment of committee members and leadership and preserving order in the House. Those Republicans and Democrats who know and work with Carter have expressed their respect for the representative.
In fact, Rep. Robert Moore, D-Arkansas City, the current House Speaker, has described Carter as a “man of wisdom, integrity and real leadership.”
There have been a lot of words written about Rep. Davy Carter recently about being the first Republican Speaker of the House in Arkansas since Reconstruction. He does understand the historic significance of the honor, but what does it all mean?
“Ask me in about May,” he says.