Arkansas Politics Blog

Asa Hutchinson healthcare
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Governor Asa Hutchinson is defending Republican legislators backing his Medicaid expansion plan as early voting begins for Arkansas’s March 1 primary. 

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio.
NPR

A few more Arkansas endorsements are on deck for Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio. A press release from the campaign said an event at the Capitol on Tuesday will "announce a growing list of support from Arkansas lawmakers."

Support from some of the state's most prominent elected officials has yet to be secured after former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee dropped out of the race following a 9th place Iowa finish. 

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark) in February.
C-SPAN

In a rare bi-partisan moment the U.S. Senate - or all but one member - was prepared to take a step on Thursday to change part of the nation's juvenile justice system. President Obama's State of the Union address in January harped on criminal justice as an area where common ground might be found.

The congressional news site Roll Call has an account of U.S. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas ruffling the feathers of Democrats and Republicans alike.

Arkansas Surgeon General Gregory Bledsoe speaking at the winter meeting of the County Judges Association of Arkansas.
Association of Arkansas Counties

The surgeon general of Arkansas made the case to the County Judges Association of Arkansas at its winter meeting that continuing Medicaid expansion will help free up state funds for other programs, such as the governor's highway plan.

The president of the association, Judge David Hudson of Sebastian County, said the group may take a position before the special session on Medicaid expansion expected in April. 

As Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders claimed victories in the New Hampshire presidential primary Tuesday, Arkansans now have a renewed sense of the top candidates as the state eyes its own primary 3 weeks away. 

Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key testifying to a joint meeting of the Education Committees.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A plan to scale back bonus pay for Arkansas teachers with National Board Certification was withdrawn on Monday under the direction of the governor’s office. The proposed revision from the state Department of Education was also under pressure from both the state’s largest union and non-union teachers groups.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (center) signs a black history month declaration while sitting beside State Sen. Linda Chesterfield (right).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson used the stature of his office to commemorate Black History month with African-American leaders and dozens of school children at the Capitol, Monday. The governor signed a declaration and lent his voice.

“It is not a time for African-Americans to celebrate your own history by yourself. It is a time that you share African-American history with everyone else,” said Hutchinson.

The Republican governor said everyone must be vigilant in protecting the gains of the past.

The cover of the book Arkansas/Arkansaw by Brooks Blevins (2009).
Univ. of Arkansas Press

This week Governor Asa Hutchinson rolled out another tool in his Arkansas boosterism arsenal unveiling the branding campaign "Arkansas Inc." He has about 180 years of a contradictory image to compete with but he intends to join former governors Charles Brough (champion of the early Wonder State moniker) and Winthrop Rockefeller in trying to do so.

Donald Trump speaking at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told thousands in Arkansas Wednesday night that the Clintons have abandoned their home state. Trump also further laid out claims Texas Senator Ted Cruz stole the Iowa caucus. 

“Give it up, for your next president of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump! Yes! Yes! Yes!," shouted Trump's opening hype man Jonathan Conneely, the founder of a fitness regime for first responders who calls himself Coach JC.

Lt. Gov Tim Griffin (R-Ark) outside his office.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is out of the Republican presidential primary and now his many endorsements from home-state officials are up for grabs before the March 1 Arkansas primary.

Huckabee came in 9th at the Iowa caucus with 1.8 percent of the vote. Is it too early to pick through the bones of Huckabee’s failed bid? For what it’s worth...

Most of his supporter list said it’s premature to endorse a new candidate. But Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, while withholding a formal endorsement, heaped praise upon Marco Rubio during an interview with KUAR.

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