COPY-Arkansas House picks Cabot Republican as speaker

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas House of Representatives has picked Rep. Davy Carter as its speaker-elect, turning down the top two candidates voted on this spring before Republicans took control of the chamber.

The House on Thursday voted 52-45 in favor of Carter over GOP Rep. Terry Rice of Waldron.

The contest between the two Republicans came after the House voted 49-48 to not affirm Democratic Rep. Darrin Williams of Little Rock as the speaker designate for the chamber.

Williams defeated Rice for the speaker's post last spring, when Democrats controlled the lower chamber.

Republicans now hold a 51-48-1 edge over Democrats and the Green Party after winning control of the chamber for the first time since Reconstruction.

In speeches to the chamber, both Carter and Rice pledged to work across party lines.

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