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House to decide new speaker in secret ballot

Posted: March 19, 2014 at 7:10 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas House members are expected to vote for the next speaker in a private session Wednesday.

Three Republicans and one Democrat say they're running for the office. The vote will take place after the chamber adjourns the fiscal session.

The Republicans are state Reps. Jeremy Gillam, Kim Hammer and Matthew Shepherd. State Rep. Fred Love is the sole Democratic candidate who says he wants the post.

Republicans hold a 51-48 seat lead over Democrats.

Some candidates say they want the race pushed back until the November general election. They cite the 2012's speaker's race, when a Democrat who was elected to the office in March lost the seat in November after Republicans won the House majority.

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