Local & Regional News
2:29 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Rutledge Gets Former Opponent's Endorsement in Republican AG Runoff

(from left) Leslie Rutledge, Patricia Nation
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Leslie Rutledge, one of two candidates in a runoff election for the Arkansas nomination for Attorney General, Friday received the endorsement of third place candidate Patricia Nation. Rutledge said she wants Nation to actively bring support.

“Patricia I don’t want you to be behind me in this effort. I want you to be right beside me on the campaign trail and moving forward because we need her voice, we need her experience,” said Rutledge.

Although it’s uncertain if Nation’s supporters will show up to the polls in June and then cast their ballot for Rutledge it could have enough impact to secure the nomination. Nation carried 14 percent of the vote while Rutledge received 47 percent. Rutledge’s runoff opponent David Sterling received 39 percent of votes cast.

Nation said she spoke after the election with both Rutledge and opponent David Sterling but found she had more in common with Rutledge’s position of implementing the death penalty.

“She thought as I did that lethal injection was a better route to take over David Sterling’s position on the electric chair,” said Nation.

Sterling has suggested re-introducing the electric chair if the state continues to be unable to procure drugs used for lethal injections. The drug scarcity is impacting executions nationwide because a European supplier doesn’t want it used to carry out death penalties. Also on Friday Tennessee’s Governor signed into a law an act permitting the use of the electric chair.

Further Notes

Nation said she spoke with both Rutledge and Sterling and thinks both could be good nominees for the Republican Party.

Bishop Charles E. Williams with the Ecumenical Coalition of Faith Leaders in Arkansas was among the sparsely attended announcement. Thursday the group held a rally in support of upholding the state's ban on same-sex marriage.