Speaker of the House Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado, said Thursday (March 11) he’s open to serving a third term as the leader of the Arkansas House of Representatives.
In his end-of-the-week press conference, Shepherd said he has been approached about serving a third term as Speaker of the House and that he’s open to the overtures.
“I kind of take things a day at a time and a step at a time. I would say that I have had a number of members that have encouraged me to consider that. That’s something that I am considering,” Shepherd said.
He emphasized he is focused on leading the chamber during this session, the 93rd General Assembly, and has not openly campaigned for a third team as speaker.
“Quite frankly, I’m not trying to overstay my welcome, but I am open to considering that and am considering that based on the encouragement from members. But my focus right now is really on the session at hand, the legislation at hand. That really has to be first and foremost,” Shepherd added.
The El Dorado Republican said he believes his leadership style is what led some members to approach him about serving again.
“Maybe people are comfortable with how I’ve handled things. I generally don’t try to micromanage things. I let the committees work, let the committee chairs handle their business, let members run bills that are important to them,” Shepherd said.
In the end, Shepherd said the members will make the decision on if he pursues another term.
“But, the fact that I’d even consider that, or would make any decision, that’s really predicated on where the membership is and whether there’s strong support for that,” Shepherd said.
“During a regular session, we’ve got a lot of issues on our plate,” he said. “[I’m] looking at it, considering it, but the focus first and foremost is on the session.”
Thursday’s Talk Business & Politics Daily includes Speaker Shepherd’s comments on the subject.
It also captures video of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s commemorative speech to healthcare workers at Jefferson Regional. The daily show also includes a preview of an interview with Dr. Cam Patterson, UAMS Chancellor, who discusses lessons learned over the past year. Watch the video below.