Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, the first Republican and the first female elected to the office, said Wednesday she will run for governor in 2022.
“Today, I am announcing my candidacy for Governor of Arkansas in 2022. While this announcement is much earlier than I had originally planned, we must prepare for the future of our great state. I remain committed to continue working closely with my friend Gov. Asa Hutchinson over the next two and a half years to keep our citizens safe and get our economy working at full capacity while at the same time helping to elect Republicans in 2020 including our President Donald J. Trump,” Rutledge said in a statement.
“As Governor, I will work to make Arkansas first in everything from job growth to tax reform to ensuring first-class education for every child regardless of zip code or economic status. I will continue to fight for our faith, families and freedoms,” she added.
Rutledge is term-limited as Attorney General, a position she has held since 2015. She was re-elected to the office in 2018. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, is term-limited and cannot serve a third term.
The field to file for Arkansas governor will likely be crowded in 2022, particularly on the GOP ticket.
Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, a Republican who has also served in the U.S. Congress, has already announced for the state’s chief executive position in 2022. State Senate President Jim Hendren, R-Gravette, and former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders are reportedly considering runs for the Republican nomination for governor when Hutchinson’s term ends.
“I welcome Leslie to the Governor’s race and will continue to take my conservative message of growing jobs through lower taxes and fighting wasteful spending to all 75 counties in Arkansas,” Griffin said in a statement to Talk Business & Politics.
While the GOP primary could be crowded in 2022, no Democrats have yet announced for the post.