Election Central: Candidates Spar At APA Debates

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 129 views 

From the Election Central campaign trail and KATV’s Janelle Lilley, here are today’s political headlines centered on the Arkansas Press Association debates:

Cong. Tim Griffin, the GOP nominee, and Democrat John Burkhalter both said they want to use the office of Lt. Governor to push for changes to workforce education and new jobs.

Christopher Olson, the Libertarian nominee, said with the troubles of former Lt. Governor Mark Darr, he would advocate for shrinking the office’s roughly $400,000 annual budget and would push to abolish the office.

Democrat Nate Steel said his first act as Attorney General would be to initiate a “comprehensive criminal justice review” in order to revise various aspects of the system. The former prosecutor also said he would bring a package of reforms to the state Legislature to deal with prison and sentencing solutions, limit outside counsel for the AG’s office, and expand the role of the position’s cybercrimes unit.

Republican nominee Leslie Rutledge, who survived a brutal primary and run-off election, said she was hesitant to bring a legislative package in January, if elected.  “It’s not my intention to have a legislative package, but I’m not ruling it out,” Rutledge said. “I believe the AG’s role is to help the legislature write good, clean laws.”

Aaron Cash, the Libertarian nominee, said the Attorney General was “not a lawmaker” and has “nothing to do with sentencing.” Cash characterized efforts to get involved in federal overreach issues as a “waste of time” and said there are “other more important issues to focus on here at home.”

With four gubernatorial candidates on stage at a Hot Springs debate held by the Arkansas Press Association, Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson took plenty of shots at each other.

Joshua Drake (G), Frank Gilbert (L), Asa Hutchinson (R ), and Mike Ross (D) fielded questions on same-sex marriage, the Private Option, prison overcrowding, the lottery, and environmental concerns.

Read about their full exchange at this link.

There was no U.S. Senate debate at today’s APA meeting, but there will be one of sorts on Talk Business & Politics this Sunday at 9 a.m. on KATV Ch. 7.

David Ray, communications director for Tom Cotton for Senate, and Erik Dorey, deputy campaign manager for Mark Pryor for Senate, join our political roundtable for a debate on faith, disaster relief, Medicare, Social Security and more.