Former Fourth District Cong. Mike Ross (D) discusses his recently announced entry into the Arkansas Governor’s race.

Ross joined the race on Wednesday after saying he would not be a candidate nearly a year ago. ┬áHe will face primary challenger Bill Halter, the state’s former Lt. Governor. On the Republican side, former Third District Cong. Asa Hutchinson and Curtis Coleman have announced.

Ross said that he will soon be providing policy positions in the education and economic development arenas – two areas he hopes to make cornerstones of his campaign.

The candidate said he felt the recent legislative session became too partisan – a point disputed by many GOP lawmakers.

He also defended his recent statements on abortion, which have caused many to contend Ross has flip-flopped on the issue. Ross said he would have vetoed a 12-week and 20-week abortion ban passed by the Arkansas legislature this year, although he voted for a 20-week abortion ban while serving in Congress.

Ross says the bills were different and that his position on abortion is unchanged and consistent.

“Let me be clear about my position and what it has always been. I am personally opposed to abortion. I do not believe, I do not support government-funded abortions with state or federal dollars. But like Gov. Beebe, I believe, from a public policy perspective, it should be safe, legal and rare,” he said.

Watch his complete interview below.