Arkansas Politics

The state's two leading constitutional office holders — Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge — have had very different springs. Both face re-election contests in November, but only one has a GOP primary challenge May 22.

That may explain why he was on his knees, hands cupping an amphibian, waiting for the start of a toad race at the annual Toad Suck Daze in Conway.

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As the May 22 primary election draws near, Democratic voters in Arkansas House District 39 have a choice to make.

Monica Ball and Joshua Price are both looking to unseat Republican three-term incumbent Rep. Mark Lowery. Theirs is the only race in the state with two Democratic primary opponents running to fill a Republican seat.

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The governor of Arkansas says he's opposed to raising the state's sales tax on groceries after a legislative panel voted to study the idea as a way to pave the way for further income tax cuts.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson told lawmakers Thursday he's opposed to raising the 1.5 percent sales tax on groceries, which is set to decrease next year to .0125 percent. A task force looking at ways to further reduce income taxes voted last week to study proposals to raise the tax and, in conjunction, creating a credit or rebate for moderate and low income residents to offset the hike.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

With early voting for primary elections set to begin May 7, the four Democrats seeking to run against Republican incumbent French Hill for Arkansas’s 2nd District U.S. Congressional seat gathered for their second debate Monday.

Leslie Rutledge
Governor's Office / You Tube

A proposed ballot initiative that would raise the state minimum wage from $8.50 to $11 per hour has been rejected by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

The language and title of the proposal, authored by Little Rock attorney David Couch, is almost identical to a measure he proposed in 2014 that raised the minimum wage in Arkansas from $6.25 to its current $8.50. The 2014 ballot measure was approved by then-Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, and became law with 66 percent voter approval.

Governor Asa Hutchinson
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A new survey of likely Republican party primary voters in Arkansas shows that Gov. Asa Hutchinson has a nearly two-to-one lead over over challenger Jan Morgan.

The latest Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College Poll of 676 GOP voters puts Hutchinson with 57.5% support compared to Morgan’s 30.5%. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided. The poll was conducted on April 17-19 and has a margin of error of +/-3.8%.

Jury selection is underway in the trial for a former Arkansas state senator accused in an alleged kickback scheme.

Former Sen. Jon Woods faces 15 fraud charges. Prosecutors accuse of him of taking kickbacks from former Ecclesia College president Oren Paris III in exchange for directing state funding to the college.

Paris pleaded guilty last week to one count of fraud and agreed to testify for prosecutors. Woods' attorney, Patrick Benca, has said his client is innocent and that defense attorneys will prove that, despite Paris' guilty plea.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola in calling for systemic changes to address gun violence in both cities.

Landrieu spoke as part of a day-long community safety summit at Little Rock’s Heifer International Village and sponsored by the Clinton School of Public Service.

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin heads the Common Core task force.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin on Tuesday endorsed Gov. Asa Hutchinson in his bid for re-election against Republican primary challenger Jan Morgan.

“I’m going to be supporting the Governor, no question. Look, I think what he’s doing on this transformation stuff is, first of all, it’s my passion, and I am so excited that he’s aggressively pursuing this. [I’m] absolutely supporting the governor,” Griffin said in a Talk Business & Politics Daily interview.

A newspaper says a former Arkansas lawmaker who became Jefferson County's chief administrative officer will resign after a federal prosecutor revealed the official had received $100,000 in bribes.

The Pine Bluff Commercial reported Monday that County Judge Henry "Hank" Wilkins IV sent a resignation letter to the governor, effective Thursday. In the letter, Wilkins said he was sorry his own actions made the resignation necessary.

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