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Who Is Asa Hutchinson? 5 Facts On Former Governor In Presidential Run

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Image Credit: CJ GUNTHER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

  • Asa Hutchinson is best known for being the governor of Arkansas from 2015 until 2023.
  • He’s a member of the Republican party.
  • Asa announced his bid for the 2024 presidential election in a recent interview.

Asa Hutchinson, 72, is running for president in 2024. The former Arkansas governor announced his life-changing plans, in a new interview on ABC’s This Week with Jonathan Karl. “I am going to be running. And the reason, as I’ve traveled the country for six months, I hear people talk about the leadership of our country, and I’m convinced that people want leaders that appeal to the best of America, and not simply appeal to our worst instincts,” he said. “I believe I can be that kind of leader for the people of America.”

The politician also said he would be making a formal announcement later this month in his hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas. His decision to run for the GOP primary comes as former President Donald Trump, who’s also a republican, faces an indictment related to a case that claimed he gave hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Find out more about Asa, his work in politics, and his outspokenness about Trump, below.

Asa was the governor of Arkansas for eight years.

Asa Hutchinson
Asa has served as the 46th governor of Arkansas. (CJ GUNTHER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Asa, who was born in Bentonville, served as the 46th governor of “The Natural State.” He first ran for the position in 2006, but lost to Democratic nominee Mike Beebe. He ended up winning his second run in 2014, defeating Democratic nominee, U.S. Representative Mike Ross, and was reelected in 2018.

He’s been involved in politics since the 1980s.

Asa’s political career started in 1982, after he earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bob Jones University in South Carolina in 1972, and received his J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1975. President Ronald Reagan appointed him U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas at age 31, making him the youngest U.S. Attorney in the country. He held the position until 1985 and got a lot of attention for successfully prosecuting The Covenant, The Sword, and The Arm of the Lord (CSA), a white supremacist organization that was founded by polygamist James Ellison.

After losing the election for the attorney general of Arkansas in a close race against Winston Bryant, Asa became co-chair, with Sheffield Nelson, from the Arkansas Republican Party, in 1991. He held the position until 1995 and went on to become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arkansas’s 3rd district from 1997 until 2001. In addition to serving as Arkansas’ governor, his other positions included the 8th Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration from 2001 until 2003, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security from 2003 until 2005, the Vice Chair of the National Governors Association from 2020 until 2021, and Chair of the National Governors Association from 2021 until 2022.

Asa’s been vocal about his disapproval of Donald Trump running for president.

Asa Hutchinson
Asa during a speech. (CJ GUNTHER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Since Trump, who served four years as U.S. president from 2017 until 2021, has become the frontrunner for the Republican party in the 2024 presidential race, Asa has revealed he thinks he should drop out of the election. “Well he should,” he said in his recent ABC News interview. “But at the same time, we know he’s not [going to]. And there’s not any constitutional requirement.”

He went on to say that he thinks Trump’s indictment will become a “sideshow” during the election, and he feels the businessman should focus on his defense in his current case instead of thinking about becoming president again. “I mean, first of all, the office is more important than any individual person,” Asa explained. “And so for the sake of the office of the presidency, I do think that’s too much of a sideshow and distraction, and he needs to be able to concentrate on his due process.”

Despite his thoughts about his presidential run, Asa also admitted he still thinks Trump should be presumed innocent of his charges, which the Manhattan District Attorney’s office have yet to publicly reveal, until found guilty. In addition to Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy have launched campaigns to run for the 2024 presidential election.

He’s married with children.

Asa married Susan Burrell Hutchinson in 1973 and they share four children together, including their son Asa Hutchinson III. According to his website, Asa III has worked as a federal prosecutor, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office attorney and civil litigator.

Asa’s brother Tim is also a politician.

Tim Hutchinson is a year older than Asa and is also a part of the Republican party. He has been working in politics since 1985, when he became a Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from the 1st district. He held the position until 1993 and went on to actually precede Asa as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arkansas’s 3rd district from 1993 until 1997. His most recent political position was as U.S. Senator from Arkansas from 1997 until 2003, and he now serves a senior director at the Washington, D.C. office of  the law firm, Greenberg Traurig.

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