by Max Brantley
A note from a House voter on the leadership today, Democratic side:
Just a note: our caucus is behind Williams for speaker, after that all bets are off.
UPDATE following Democratic caucus meeting this morning:
Well the Caucus has everyone voting to affirm [Williams] on first ballot and then I expect most will vote Carter on the second. Carter has told Williams and others that he is open to Democrats in leadership. We don't have a relationship with Rice by his choice.
The Republicans are apparently still caucusing. It doesn't look like Rice plans to quietly defer to the Carter/Democratic Party putsch.
UPDATE II: For those who might have been holding out hope for a miracle, the 51-vote Republican majority in the House WILL happen. Various involved in the recount of District 52 say the Independence County recount was completed this morning and John Hutchison, the Harrisburg Republican, will defeat Democrat L.J. Bryant of Grubbs by around 40 votes among 10,000 cast. As I've said before, a one-vote majority is as good as a 15-vote majority operationally in the House and bodes ill for legislative outcomes in 2013. But for Democrats looking for comfort, it's well short of the 65 to 70 seats some Republican consultants - alleged experts - were predicting. And it proved that Arkansas legislative candidates weren't wholly tied to the fortunes of Barack Obama, who got 36 percent of the Arkansas vote. Republicans will move - such as by vote suppression legislation - to enhance their chances in 2014. But some of that effort may founder in court as they overreach.