Rep. Joe Jett not seeking re-election

by George Jared ([email protected]) 262 views 

A longtime state lawmaker from Northeast Arkansas has decided he will not seek another term in the State House of Representatives.

State Rep. Joe Jett, R-Success, announced Monday (Jan. 17) he will retire following the end of his current term, which is his fifth.

Jett, who was first elected in the 56th district in 2012, said he wants to spend more time on his family farm with his sons and grandchildren. Jett was originally elected as a Democrat and switched to the Republican Party in 2016.

“I never set out to make a career in politics and only wanted to stay as long as I had the desire and could be effective,” he said. “As I look back over the years, I consider myself very fortunate to have played a part in not only setting policy for the state but being able to help so many people in their time of need.”

His district spans Greene, Clay and Lawrence counties. A potential replacement has not announced a run for office.

Jett serves as the chairperson of the powerful House Revenue and Taxation Committee. He also serves on the Joint Budget Committee, Joint Performance Review Committee, and the House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry & Economic Development.

During the most recent legislative session and in previous sessions, Jett was a pivotal leader in advancing tax cut policy for the state. Lawmakers and Gov. Asa Hutchinson passed the largest individual income tax cut in state history in a December 2021 special session.

Jett graduated from Corning High School and attended Phillips University and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He is also a certified multi-instrument flight instructor.

“My plans are to come home and be on the farm with both my sons and wrestle with my four little grandsons whenever I feel like it, then teach them to fly an airplane as they get a little older—if their mamas can stand it,” he said.