Arkansas House Speaker Matthew Shepherd (file photo) Brian Chilson

State Rep. Matthew Shepherd (R-El Dorado) won’t seek a fourth term as speaker of the Arkansas House, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports. Shepherd is the longest serving leader of the chamber. He told the D-G that he plans on seeking reelection for his House seat.

Rep. Brian Evans (R-Cabot), the chair of the House Education Committee, says he’s running to be speaker, and based on nothing but my hunch based on observing the legislature for years, I’d say he’s the early favorite. Rep. Johnny Rye (R-Truman) is also going for the role.


Reps. Aaron Pilkington (R-Knoxville), Jack Ladyman (R-Jonesboro), Grant Hodges (R-Centerton) and Jimmy Gazaway (R-Paragould) all told the D-G they were contemplating throwing their names in the hat.