Questions Surround Hutchinson's Legal Status to Run for Governor - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Questions Surround Hutchinson's Legal Status to Run for Governor

APRIL 6, 2005 - Posted at 7:52 a.m. CST


LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Constitution requires governors to be residents of Arkansas for seven years, but doesn't specify whether the seven years must be immediately before the election.

Republican candidate Asa Hutchinson only recently moved back to Arkansas after living in Virginia for more than three years as an undersecretary in the federal Department of Homeland Security.  Before that he headed the Drug Enforcement Agency after serving as Arkansas congressman from the Third District.

The 54-year-old Hutchinson, who was born in Arkansas and lived most of his life in the state, has no doubt that he meets the residency requirement to seek the governor's post in 2006, and the leader of the state Democratic Party, Jason Willett of Jonesboro, says he doesn't dispute that Hutchinson is eligible to run for the office.

Lieutenant Governor Win Rockefeller, who is running against Hutchinson for the Republican nomination, says it's not for him to decide whether Hutchinson is eligible.

Rockefeller said, "I'm just going forward in the race."

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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