Republican gubernatorial candidate Curtis Coleman knows he is an underdog in his bid for Arkansas Governor and his game plan for winning the GOP primary is focused on the first and only phase he aims to worry about.

Appearing on Capitol View on KARK Ch. 4, Coleman said he is focused at this juncture exclusively on winning the smaller turnout of the GOP primary, not the general election.

“We’ve set up a strategy that’s built on a grass-roots organization and a grass-roots campaign. We’ve got functioning campaign committees in almost 50 of the 75 counties and we’re leveraging that now. We knew that the big battle I’d have to fight – because I’m not a professional politician, not even a lawyer – that the big battle we’d have to fight is name ID.”

Coleman is in a primary battle for the GOP nomination versus former Third District Cong. Asa Hutchinson, the 2006 Republican gubernatorial nominee. State Rep. Debra Hobbs (R-Rogers) is also expected to formally enter the race this month.

Coleman said whatever happens in next year’s Republican primary, he plans to support the GOP nominee.

“I’m a conservative Republican. I’ve been a Republican my whole life. I expect to support the Republican nominee. I don’t have any plans to do anything else,” he said.

Opposed to the private option, Coleman is supportive of Arkansans Against Big Government’s effort to qualify a repeal measure for the ballot. He also said he is opposed to a legislatively-referred proposed constitutional amendment that would extend term limits and reform state ethics laws for public officials.

“I will tell you I have a principle problem with that,” said Coleman, who outlined how he believed lawmakers cobbled separate, stand-alone issues into one larger constitutional measure. “I think fundamentally there’s a problem with that.”

Coleman has touted his business record among his qualifications for Governor. He is the former CEO of North Little Rock-based Safe Foods Corp. and current President of the Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy, a nonprofit that had its 501(c)3 status revoked by the IRS earlier this year.

The GOP candidate said his business record is fair game, but the IRS determination is not concluded.

“That story’s not finished yet. The IRS is not finished with its ruling on that yet,” Coleman said. “I’m not going to comment on that a lot because we’re working really hard to keep the campaign and the institute separate for obvious reasons. But the IRS has advised us that the institute’s non-profit status will be returned and renewed effective as the same date as the revocation.. . The stories that have been written to date haven’t finished, don’t understand that this issue is by far [from] completed.”

You can view Coleman’s full interview below.

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