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story.lead_photo.caption Morgan

A Hot Springs Republican has entered the governor's race and will challenge Gov. Asa Hutchinson in the GOP primary in May.

Jan Morgan, 54, announced her candidacy in a new release sent Sunday night and at an event in Hot Springs.

She owns the Gun Cave shooting range in Hot Springs. In 2014, she drew national media attention by declaring her gun range a "Muslim Free Zone," saying that she was concerned about the safety of other customers if Muslims patronized her business.

In her campaign's news release, Morgan said she traveled the state for six months talking to Arkansans before making her decision to run.

"As we embark on the dawn of a new day and new year in Arkansas, I am excited about the future potential of our beautiful state and her people," she was quoted as saying.

Morgan has criticized Hutchinson as someone who "campaigns like a conservative Republican but governs like a liberal Democrat." If elected, Morgan would become Arkansas' first female governor.

Last year, she was an opponent of legislation that Hutchinson signed into law aimed at barring concealed-carry permit holders, even those with up to eight hours of extra training, from Razorback Stadium and other locations hosting college sporting events.

In 2014, Hutchinson beat businessman Curtis Coleman in the Republican primary before defeating former Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Ross of Little Rock, Libertarian candidate Frank Gilbert of Tull and Green Party candidate Joshua Drake of Hot Springs in the general election. Hutchinson is a former federal homeland security undersecretary, Drug Enforcement Administration director, 3rd District congressman and U.S. attorney.

A Democrat, Jared Henderson, has also announced he's running for governor.

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporters Michael R. Wickline and John Moritz and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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  • Foghorn
    January 1, 2018 at 9:31 a.m.

    I can’t imagine this ridiculous excuse of a human garnering a single vote aside from her own.

  • TimberTopper
    January 1, 2018 at 9:40 a.m.

    DB, she may get plenty votes. One must take into consideration the caliber of voters we have in Arkansas.

  • dunk7474
    January 1, 2018 at 10:23 a.m.

    Anyone could beat Asa.

  • Foghorn
    January 1, 2018 at 10:48 a.m.

    I’m sure you’re right, TT. She’ll attract the gun nutters and anyone who might have supported Roy Moore. They share the same christofascist views. And she’s got that Sarah Palin vibe.

  • wildblueyonder
    January 1, 2018 at 11:27 a.m.

    TT, I guess that caliber includes yourself, no doubt.

  • ahelms
    January 1, 2018 at 11:41 a.m.

    It's scary to think she could actually win...and Arkansas keeps marching backward.

  • PopMom
    January 1, 2018 at 12:33 p.m.

    She is sort of a female Roy Moore without a law degree. Her website does not mention her education, but she claims to have been an "investigative journalist." She does not mention a husband or children. She seems an odd mix of biker babe and Baptist. It would almost be amusing to see how she would redecorate the Governor's Mansion--some form of biker bar decor.

  • MaxCady
    January 1, 2018 at 12:42 p.m.

    A ham sandwich could beat Asa.

  • ObieOne
    January 1, 2018 at 12:52 p.m.

    I’LL NOT ONLY VOTE FOR JAN, I’ll campaign for her! Time to run these RINOS off.

  • arkateacher54
    January 1, 2018 at 1:10 p.m.

    I am pretty radically conservative about most things myself, but I have kept up with Ms Morgan enough to know she doesn't need to hold any public office. In spite of some of the ridiculous comments on here, there is not much chance she ever will.

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