Senator- elect Keith M. Ingram (D) of West Memphis, representing District 24 beginning in January, was recently elected as Minority Leader for the Arkansas State Senate 89th General Assembly.
“It is an honor to be selected,” said Ingram.
For the first time since Reconstruction, the Arkansas Senate has a Republican majority. The Democrat acknowledged however, he was honored to be the first in his party to hold the distinction.
“We have some tough issues ahead of us, but I look forward to working with my fellow Senators to move Arkansas and the Delta forward,” he said.
Ingram was also selected to serve as vice chair of the Insurance and Commerce Committee and will serve as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He will also serve on both the Joint Performance Review and the Senate Select Committee on Efficiency.
Terms of service were also addressed at the recent organizational meeting. Due to the redistricting process, senators must draw for either 2-year or 4-year terms. Ingram drew a 2-year term of service. Typically, Senators draw for their seats as well, but, by unanimous consent, the assembly voted to allow Ingram first choice of seats. Ingram chose the same chair his father and brother had used in the senate chamber decades ago. Ingram said he was both surprised and moved by the kind gesture of his fellow senators.
“My father and brother worked very hard to represent their district from this chair,” said Ingram. “And I am determined to do the same.”
The Ingram family has a long history in public service. Ingram's father, W.K. Ingram, served in the state senate from 1963 until his death in 1981. Ingram also follows his brother Kent, who served in the Senate for nine years.
The 89th General Assembly begins Jan. 14.