LITTLE ROCK — Members of the Arkansas House have elected a Republican representative from El Dorado to lead the chamber in 2019. Rep. Matthew Shepherd picked up 57 votes in Monday balloting by House members. A vote total wasn’t released for Republican Rep. Andy Davis of Little Rock.
If affirmed next year, Shepherd would replace Rep. Jeremy Gillam of Judsonia, who is not seeking re-election to his House seat. Had Davis been elected, he would have been the first House speaker from Little Rock in 50 years.
Shepherd leads the House Judiciary Committee, while Davis leads the Rules Committee.
Shepherd’s election in 2019 must be affirmed in January. In 2012, the House selected Democrat Darrin Williams of Little Rock, but control of the chamber changed from Democrats to Republicans that year.