Photo courtesy of Marine Glisovic.
After House Republicans considered not allowing Democrats who narrowly won a controversial election to take office, Monday (January 11), the Arkansas House of Representatives voted for all its members on the first day of the 2021 legislative session .
All members voted 96-1 and 2 people participated. In the meeting Monday morning, the House Republican Caucus voted to decide whether to prevent Rep. from electing Ashley Hudson, D-Little Rock, who represents District 32.
Hudson defeated former Rep. Jim Solvello (Rim Little Rock) by 24 votes to win a controversial game. The count is 8404-8380. It was later discovered that the 27 controversial votes were mixed with another batch of votes, which may affect the final result.
Since Hudson first announced his victory, Solvello has filed a lawsuit in the circuit court, the Arkansas Supreme Court, and petitioned the Arkansas Claims Commission. None of these efforts led to changes in the certification results.
Republican Representative R. North Little Rock defeated his Democratic challenger Matthew Stallings by 16 votes in November. The vote in that election was 7,099-7,083. It was later determined that 36 controversial ballots in the region were mixed with other eligible ballots, but there was no legal challenge on the Wing seat-neither was the House of Representatives disputed.
In the Arkansas House of Representatives, Republicans have a 78-22 advantage over Democrats. Article 5 of the Arkansas Constitution gives the House of Representatives the power to seat its members, but this situation has not been verified in modern times.
One day after the beginning of questioning the issues that will occur in Hudson, Secretary of State John Thurston announced the certification results of all election winners. Representative Michelle Gray of Melbourne R.Melbourne moved a motion to require all 100 members to be seated. After the vote, Chief Justice Dan Kemp led the members to take the oath of office.
R-Gravette Representative Gayla McKenzie voted no. R-Perryville Rep. Mary Bentley and R-Elm Springs Rep. Robin Lundstrum participated in the vote. Speaker Matthew Shepard (R-El Dorado) did not vote.
Sources said that the House of Representatives vote was conducted after the second meeting of the Republican Party of the House of Representatives was held in the morning of the same day, and members of the House of Representatives were divided on whether to let Hudson sit. Solvello and his lawyer were present. Bentley led an effort to deny Hedson's position.
Supporters rejected Hudson's seat, saying he must send information about voter fraud and election integrity. Opponents worried that it would set a precedent, but when they were seated, they did not make Hudson a seat. In fact, according to reports, Wing proposed the idea that the challenge might damage his own seat.
Some have argued that Solvello may be able to maintain his seat, or resign and establish an open seat, which will force another election. The source said that the debate was “not controversial or intense. I think people are actually trying to think through logic.” Four different sources collectively confirmed many events in closed meetings.
During the plenary session of the House of Representatives, Shepherd was elected 99-0 as Speaker of the House of Representatives and was sworn in.
After a brief speech, he announced that R-Paris's Representative Jon Eubanks was the temporary spokesperson, and the assistant spokesperson represented Res. Frances Cavenaugh and R-Walnut Ridge. Marcus Richmond, R-Harvey; Fred Allen, D-Little Rock; and R-Melbourne's Michelle Gray.
The shepherd also announced the following committee chairs and vice chairs:
• Joint Budget-R-Magnolia Representative Lane Jean, Chairman; Representative Justin Boyd, Vice Chairman of R-Fort Smith
• Arkansas Legislative Council-R-Hermitage Representative Jeff Wardlaw, Chairman; Representative Jim Dotson, R-Bentonville, Vice Chairman
• Joint Audit-R-Arkadelphia Representative Richard Womack, Chairman; Representative Nelda Speaks, R-Mountain Home, Vice Chairman
The chairman of the audit committee is:
•County and city governments-R-Almyra Representative David Hillman
• National Institutions – R-Elm Springs Representative Robin Lundstrum
• Educational Institutions-R-Dover Representative Stan Berry
• Medicaid-R-Okolona Representative Justin Gonzales
For the Standing Committee, the chairman is:
• Education-Representative Bruce Cozart (R. Hot Springs), Chairman; Representative Brian Evans, R-Cabot, Vice Chairman
• Judiciary-R-Texarkana Representative Carol Dalby, Chairman; Representative Brandt Smith, R-Jonesboro, Vice Chairman
•Public Health, Welfare, and Labor – Representative Jack Ladyman of R-Jonesboro, Chair; Representative Deborah Ferguson, D-West Memphis, Vice Chair
•Public Transportation-Representative Mike Holcomb, R-Pine Bluff, Chairman; Representative Danny Watson, R-Hope, Vice Chairman
•Income and Taxation-R-Success Representative Joe Jett; Representative Jack Fortner, R-Yellville, Vice Chairman
•Aging, children and youth, legislative and military affairs-Representative Charlene Fite, R-Van Buren, Chair; Representative Sonia Eubanks Barker, R-Smackover, Vice Chair
•Agriculture, forestry and economic development-Representative DeAnn Vaught, R-Horatio, Chair; Representative Roger Lynch, R-Lonoke, Vice Chair
•City, county and local affairs-R-Benton Representative Lanny Fite, Chairman; Representative Milton Nicks, D-Marion Vice Chairman
•Insurance and Trade-Representative Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle, Chair; Representative John Maddox, R-Mena, Vice Chair
• National Institutions and Government Affairs-Representative Dwight Tosh of R-Jonesboro, Chairman; Representative Justin Gonzales, R-Okolona, Vice Chairman
• Rules-R-Searcy Representative Les Eaves, Chairman; Representative Keith Slape, R-Compton, Vice Chairman
•Management-R-North Little Rock Representative Carlton Wing, Chairman; Representative Lee Johnson, R-Greenwood, Vice Chairman
• United Energy-R-Center Ridge Representative Rick Beck, Chair; Representative Clint Penzo, R-Springdale, Vice Chair
• Joint performance review-R-Paragould Rep. Jimmy Gazaway, Chairman; Rep. Reginald Murdock, D-Marianna, Vice-Chair
• Joint Public Retirement and Social Security Program-Representative Les Warren of R-Hot Springs, Chairman; Representative Gary Deffenbaugh, R-Van Buren, Vice Chairman
• Joint Advanced Communications and Information Technology-R-Greenbrier Representative Stephen Meeks, Chairman; Representative Spencer Hawks, R-Conway, Vice Chairman.
Arkansas News Headlines
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