Jett Files for Re-Election, Draws Democrat Challenger Ryan Carter

Thursday, March 1, 2018

With the deadline for filing for the upcoming primary elections at hand, two candidates have filed for the Arkansas State Representative seat to serve local constituents.

Incumbent State Rep. Joe Jett, of Success, has announced his intention to run for a fourth term in the Arkansas Legislature from District 56. Jett was elected as a Democrat, but changed party affiliation prior to the mid-term legislative session. He has no announced opposition in the upcoming May Republican primary, but will be facing another Clay County resident in the fall.

His opponent is Ryan Carter, of Corning, a young Democrat and lifelong Clay County resident.

The son of Mike and Sherry Carter, the first time candidate is a 2012 graduate of Corning High School. Later, he attained an Associates Degree from Black River Technical College and he is currently enrolled at Arkansas State University.

“I've worked for the Corning Wal-Mart for five yars where I am a sporting goods associate,” he offered.

Rep. Jett is serving in his third term from District 56, which consists of Clay County and portions of Greene and Randolph Counties. He is a two term Chairman for the Arkansas House of Representatives Revenue and Taxation Committee and past Chairman for the Economic and Tax Policy Committee.

For the 91st General Assembly, along with Chairing the Revenue and Tax committee, Joe serves on the House Insurance and Commerce Committee, Arkansas Legislative Council, Claims Committee, Review Committee, Rules and Regulations Committee, Policy Committee, Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force, Economic and Tax Policy, Energy Committee, Legislative Audit Committee and several sub committees.

Jett also graduated from Corning High School, and later attended the Community College of the Air Force, Phillips University and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He served in the United States Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller prior to coming back home to farm in Success Although he has been a lifelong farmer, who raised the crops of rice and soybeans, he is a certified Airline Transport Pilot and Certified Single and Multi-Engine Flight Instructor. He and his wife Lisa, also operate a trucking company.

In 2013, Jett was selected by the University of Virginia, Business School of Darden, as one of the top 50 up and coming legislators in the United States.

Rep Jett has served on several local and State boards and commissions, most notably as a former Aeronautical Commissioner for the State of Arkansas. He and his wife Lisa have two sons and three grandsons, and they are members of the Success Baptist Church.

“I take pride in constituent services,” Jett said of his service to the district. “Whenever someone calls with a problem I take pride in helping or getting them help as fast as possible”

The lawmaker also noted he treats each vote in the House with special consideration. “I base my votes on how it affects my district and not on how someone that doesn’t live here thinks we should adhere to their values,” he explained.

“I’m proud of the local school districts and the job our teachers and administrators do here in my district and I’m humbled getting to represent the folks in my district down in Little Rock and I take those responsibilities serious,” he added. “Outside of my family, this has been the greatest pleasure of my life getting to serve my neighbors and friends.”

As for Jett's opponent in the fall, Carter points to a lack of communication with state leadership and a failing infrastructure as reasons for him seeking public office.

“I am running for State Representative because when I look at our state legislature in Little Rock I see very few who are looking out for common folk and even fewer who have a vision for our state's future,” Carter explains. “I support fixing our crumbling roads and bridges and investing in levees and drainage programs so we can be more prepared for floods.”

The candidate will also make education a key issue in the campaign.

“I believe in universal Pre-K so that every child has access to early education and isn't stuck on a waiting list,” he adds. “I support investing in our public schools and our teachers, and expanding access to higher education and technical school.”

Carter also speaks to an issue on the mind of many voters as the issue of healthcare remains front and center.

“And I support our state's expanded Medicaid program that keeps our rural hospitals and clinics open and is critical for the quality of life of our seniors and the health of our citizens,” he surmised.

In announcing his candidacy for the Arkansas House of Representatives, Carter indicated he would spend the coming months getting to know the constituents better.

“I'll be knocking on doors all across the district so I can hear from you personally,” he concluded. “Or you can visit my campaign Facebook page or send me an email at

The primary election will be held Tuesday, May 22, with the General Election set for Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Thursday, March 1, at noon is the deadline for candidates to file for the primary and non-partisan election in May.

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