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Arkansas Speaker Matthew Shepherd will not seek fourth term leading chamber

Arkansas House
Arkansas House Speaker Matthew Shepherd hopes to stay in the House of Representatives, but will no longer serve as speaker when his term is up.

The Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives says he will not seek a fourth term leading the chamber.

House Speaker Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado, says he’s proud of what he and the legislature accomplished during his nearly five years in the role. He listed tax cuts, highway funding, and pro-gun legislation among his favored achievements.

Speaking with KUAR News, Shepherd said the recent legislative session was unprecedented, and is excited about getting “back to the business of the people” after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Which is one of the reasons I ran for that third term,” he said. “COVID took up a good portion of my second term and I felt I was in a good position to help return us to that sense of normalcy.”

The speaker is currently at the beginning of his third term leading the chamber. He has about a year and a half left on his speakership and will retain the role during the 2024 fiscal session. Shepherd says he hopes to stay on as a member of the House of Representatives until his term limits are up.

“I have told folks, it's not like I’m going anywhere. I am here. And you know, obviously committed to finishing strong as Speaker of the House.”

Shepherd is hoping to spend more time in his El Dorado law practice, Shepherd and Shepherd.

Josie Lenora is the Politics/Government Reporter for UA Little Rock Public Radio.