Arkansas House Speaker to be Picked Today

JANUARY 9, 2006 - Posted at 8:02 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas House of Representatives is to meet today to select a speaker for the 2007 session.

Legislators are to conduct a caucus and will use a secret ballot to pick a House Speaker designate.

The candidates for speaker are both Democrats, Representative Benny Petrus of Stuttgart and Representative Will Bond of Jacksonville.

Both candidates will be allowed to address the House for 15 minutes today before voting begins.  Petrus is a 49-year-old car dealer and has served in the House since 2003.  Bond is a 35-year-old attorney and has served in the House since 2003.

Bond and Petrus each say they expect the vote to be close and each says he will support the winner.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)