Jacob Kauffman

Reporter / Anchor

Jacob Kauffman is a reporter and anchor for KUAR. He primarily covers the state legislature and politics beat while juggling anchoring All Things Considered Monday through Friday afternoons. 

Jacob is a long-time Little Rock resident who started out working with Hendrix College's KHDX and the Arkansas Legislative Digest. His work (or portions of it) has appeared on NPR, our other wonderful public radio stations across Arkansas, PBS News Hour, TalkBusiness.net, Arkansas Money & Politics Magazine, ArkansasBlog.com, and the Nashville News. He also runs KUAR's Arkansas Politics Blog.

He regularly appears on Arkansas Educational Television Network's (AETN) weekly roundtable politics program Arkansas Week. Jacob also serves on the board of the MacArthur Military History Museum. If you see him you should ask him about the experience of German-Arkansans during World War I.

Phone: 501-683-7393

Ways to Connect

A breakdown of GDP growth rates by state and region.
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Arkansas’s gross domestic product, or GDP, grew at a higher rate than any other state in the nation through the first quarter of 2016. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis on Wednesday shows the state's 3.9 percent GDP growth outpacing the national rate of 1.2 percent.

File photo. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) speaking to the Political Animals Club at the Governor's Mansion in Little Rock.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Governor Asa Hutchinson wants to drop the income tax rate for Arkansas’s top bracket to 5 percent and re-formulate higher education funding based on outcomes rather than enrollment. The Republican governor broadly outlined his long-term tax cut aspiration and higher education plan on Tuesday afternoon at a meeting of the Downtown Rotary Club of Little Rock. 

He also commented on the politics of trade and an Ethics Commission ruling dismissing a complaint against him.


State Rep. Sheilla Lampkin, a Democrat from Monticello, died of ovarian cancer on Saturday.

State Representative Sheilla Lampkin of Monticello died of ovarian cancer on Saturday at the age of 70. Earlier in the week, Lampkin announced she was withdrawing her re-election effort due to the malady.


On this week's podcast:

-It's mostly about the Republican National Convention. How did some of Arkansas's delegates react to some of the major speeches?

-We also discuss the speeches of three Arkansans at the convention. How do their messages fit within the larger Republican worldview?

-The Arkansas Supreme Court denies a request by eight death row inmates for a rehearing, but gives them time to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Robert Miller of Arkansas's chapter of the League of the South holds a Confederate battle flag and the LOS flag on Capitol grounds.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Former Ku Klux Klan leader and former Louisiana Republican state representative David Duke says the climate is right for him to seek public office once again. Duke, referencing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, announced on Friday he's running in the state's U.S. Senate race.

File photo (2016). Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) speaking to reporters after addressing the Arkansas General Assembly to open a special session on highways.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Governor Asa Hutchinson is the subject of an Arkansas Ethics Commission probable-cause hearing on Friday morning. Attorney and investigative, liberal blogger Matt Campbell of Blue Hog Report lodged the complaint based on law governing when it’s appropriate for elected officials to spend time campaigning. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman talked with Campbell before the hearing.

In a statement, the governor's spokesman J.R. Davis dismissed Campbell's complaint:

The new Interim Director of the Department of Human Services Division of Youth Services Betty Guhman.
The Arkansas Governor's Office.

The Division of Youth Services at the Arkansas Department of Human Services has a new interim director. DHS announced on Tuesday that Betty Guhman, a long-time advisor to Governor Asa Hutchinson, will serve in the role.

She’s worked with Hutchinson since his days in Congress but began her career at DHS in 1973 as a protective service worker. Spokeswoman Amy Webb says Guhman was involved with the division’s inception.

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Yellville) at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas's Tom Cotton spoke during prime time at the Republican National Convention on Monday night. The state's junior U.S. Senator echoed military themes familiar to those following his career. Cotton was in the infantry in Iraq and Afghanistan prior to his legal and electoral careers.

Sen. Cotton only mentioned Trump's name once and never said his full name. Cotton said, "In a Trump-Pence administration and with a Republican Congress, help is on the way.” 

Watch Cotton's speech here:

U.S. Representative Steve Womack (R-Third Distirct)

Arkansas Congressman Steve Womack was at the center of holding back the last gasp of the Never Trump movement at the Republican National Convention.

The U.S. Representative for the third district in northwest Arkansas served as chair on Monday afternoon, when rules for the convention were adopted. On a voice vote, Womack determined delegates approved the normal set of rules binding delegates to vote according to primary and caucus results and consequently paving the way to Donald Trump’s nomination.

Possible Libertarian State House candidate Rick Bernard wearing a t-shirt depicting a turban as a bomb. The image was drawn by Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.

The Libertarian Party of Arkansas is hoping to take advantage of a special election for a north Arkansas state House race. The party announced plans on Monday to hold a special nominating convention in Yellville at the end of this month.

Republican Kelly Linck vacated the legislative seat earlier this year to take a position at the Department of Human Services, leaving just two months left in the term after the special election.

Libertarian Party Vice Chair Christopher Olson expects open-carry activist Rick Bernard to throw his hat in.