Republican Jan Morgan, a Hot Springs gun range owner, public speaker, and Fox News contributor, has formed an exploratory committee to consider a GOP challenge to Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Morgan has been rumored to be considering a bid for several weeks.
Content partner, KATV News, confirmed with Morgan that she has formed an exploratory committee called “We the People.” An exploratory committee allows an individual to raise funds and spend money before declaring whether or not to become a candidate.
On her Facebook page, Morgan said she has “warned Arkansas RINOS [Republicans in name only] that if they continue to act and vote like democrats,” she would “expose them and become a constant presence in the State Capitol and in their districts.”
“I had no idea at that time it would lead to a ‘We the People’ exploratory committee to determine if I should primary our big government, tax-and-spend, progressive Governor,” she wrote.
One of her Facebook posts highlights her concerns about Hutchinson’s approach to taxes, revenue and spending, General Improvement Funds, Arkansas Works, religious freedom, bathroom gender legislation, and the Second Amendment.
Jon Gilmore, chief political strategist to Gov. Hutchinson responded to Morgan’s exploratory announcement.
“We recognize that with 2018 being an election year there might be opposition and folks will consider and explore a run for political office. Explorations will happen, it is a normal part of the political process,” he said.
Morgan raised her national profile in January 2015 when she banned Muslims from her gun range in Hot Springs.
“You know when you are in this range and there are people on both sides of you within a couple of feet of you shooting real guns you want to know that the owner of this establishment has screened this person carefully to make sure that they are responsible armed, that they are handling guns safely and that this is not a convicted felon beside you,” Morgan told a media outlet at the time.
On her media web site, JanMorganMedia.com, she touts a variety of news, videos and guest posts related to firearms and the Second Amendment.
Filing for Arkansas governor and other state races will begin in March 2018 and the primary is scheduled for May 2018. Hutchinson has announced his re-election bid. No other Republicans or Democrats have formally announced that they will run. Libertarian Mark West has announced his candidacy for governor.