Talk Business reported earlier today that House Speaker Davy Carter has stepped down as division president of Centennial Bank although he will remain on the regional board of directors. You can read the details including a statement from Carter, but the news has led some to ask what Carter’s long-term plans are.
Carter will certainly have his hands full for the next few months with duties as Speaker of the House – a point he makes in his statement. However if that was the only hang up, he likely could take a leave of absence rather than what appears to be a permanent change.
This has the political rumor mill buzzing as to whether Carter could be considering a run for Governor or Attorney General in 2014. Either one (or neither one) is a possibility but I will weigh in with my two cents.
If I was putting money on it, I would go with Attorney General. Carter, a widely respected attorney, would likely be a shoe-in for the Republican nomination. No other names have surfaced that I have heard. State Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson at one time had aspirations for this office, but I doubt that is likely with issues he has had to deal with lately. Several attorneys have eyed a run on the Democratic side, but Carter’s cross-party appeal would make him a front-runner in the general as well.
Plus as Gov. Beebe as well as many other former Arkansas governors have shown, the AG’s office is a good stepping stone to the governor’s mansion. Currently, Carter would face a difficult primary against former Congressman Asa Hutchinson who likely will do well in the Republican primary wheelhouse of northwest Arkansas. Carter could win, but it would certainly be a tougher battle than Attorney General, where he would be the front-runner.
Is this the plan? I don’t know and Carter is not saying. He tells me he is focusing on the upcoming legislative session which starts Monday. He certainly looks like a good candidate to me.
Carter is scheduled to speak on Friday at noon to the Clinton School of Public Service in downtown Little Rock. (Video of his speech here.)
For even more Davy Carter – because I know you just can’t get enough – check out The Arkansas Project’s interview with him here.