LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson officially announced Tuesday he will seek a second term.
“I’m delighted today to announce my intentions to seek another term as your governor. There is no better job than serving the people of Arkansas as governor,” Hutchinson said in a statement issued by his campaign.
“When I ran in 2014, I outlined specifically what I would do as governor; promises that I made and kept,” he said. “I am running for re-election to expand on our progress from pro-growth tax reform to marketing our state to the world to create more jobs here at home. You are the reason I am governor and I’m asking for your support of my re-election”
Hutchinson said previously he would make his campaign announcement sometime after this year’s successive regular and special legislative sessions, which concluded earlier this month.
Hutchinson defeated Democrat Mike Ross to win the governor’s office in November 2014. He said in his statement Tuesday he fulfilled his 2014 campaign promises by:
• Being the “jobs governor.” Nearly 60,000 new jobs have been created, and the state’s unemployment rate of 3.6 percent is the lowest on record, he said.
• Getting legislation passed to require that computer coding classes be offered at every high school in the state.
• Cutting income taxes by more than $150 million.
• Freezing hiring in state government, which he said has eliminated 1,400 positions and saved the state about $40 million.
A Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College poll released in February showed 53 percent of respondents approved and 30 percent disapproved of the job Hutchinson was doing as governor. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.
Hutchinson, 66, is Arkansas’ 46th governor and has served previously as Fort Smith-based U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, 3rd District U.S. representative, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency and under secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He has spent the majority of his career in the private sector as a small business owner, lawyer and entrepreneur.
He and his wife Susan have been married for 43 years and have four grown children and six grandchildren.