Arkansas’ attorney general says she’s running for governor

Updated: Jul. 1, 2020 at 6:07 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says she's running for governor in 2022, setting up a potentially crowded and expensive Republican primary.

Rutledge on Wednesday became the second candidate to announce a bid to succeed Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Hutchinson is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin has also said he's running.

Griffin, a former congressman who is in his second term as lieutenant governor, released a statement to Region 8 News about Rutledge entering the race.

“I welcome Leslie to the Governor’s race and will continue to take my conservative message of growing jobs through lower taxes and fighting wasteful spending to all 75 counties in Arkansas,” Griffin said.

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Senate President Jim Hendren have said they’re considering running. No Democratic candidates have yet announced plans to run.

In a statement to Region 8 News, Rutledge, an Independence County native in her second term as attorney general, said economics and security will be a key part of her campaign.

“Today, I am announcing my candidacy for Governor of Arkansas in 2022. While this announcement is much earlier than I had originally planned, we must prepare for the future of our great State. I remain committed to continue working closely with my friend Governor Asa Hutchinson over the next two and a half years to keep our citizens safe and get our economy working at full capacity while at the same time helping to elect Republicans in 2020 including our President Donald J. Trump,” Rutledge said. “As Governor, I will work to make Arkansas first in everything from job growth to tax reform to ensuring first-class education for every child regardless of zip code or economic status. I will continue to fight for our faith, families and freedoms.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Region 8 News contributed to this report.