Former 3rd District Congressman Asa Hutchinson says he will be a candidate for the 2014 Arkansas Governor’s race.
Hutchinson was defeated in the 2006 race for the office by Gov. Mike Beebe.
“I will be a candidate in 2014,” Hutchinson told The City Wire on Friday (Jan. 4).
He said the plan was to announce in early January, but his decision to help the National Rifle Association study the possibility of armed guards in public schools somewhat changed the plan. Hutchinson appeared Dec. 21 at a NRA press conference saying he will lead an initiative to study putting armed guards in schools.
“I do have a very important initiative on school safety that I’m committed to,” Hutchinson said, adding that it will require “intense work” for the next two months. “I want to make sure I do it right.”
In addition to serving as a Congressman representing Arkansas, Hutchinson has served as a United States attorney, director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
He was appointed President Ronald Reagan as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas at the age of 31, making him then the youngest U.S. Attorney in the nation.
Hutchinson unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers, D-Ark., in 1986. He also lost a 1990 run against Winston Bryant for the office of Arkansas Attorney General.
In 1996, Hutchinson successfully ran for the 3rd Congressional District when his brother, Tim, left the post in a successful bid for a U.S. Senate seat. During his term in the House, Asa Hutchinson was one of three managers to prosecute the impeachment against then President Bill Clinton.
He resigned his Congressional seat in 2001 when he was appointed by President George Bush to lead the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
Hutchinson is the second GOP candidate to announce for the office. Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman has said he is exploring a run for the office.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, a Democrat, has entered the gubernatorial race.