Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, a Republican from Springdale, announced Tuesday (Feb. 12) that he would not be a candidate for governor in 2014, and plans to support Asa Hutchinson for the office.
"I have fielded many questions over the past few months from friends and supporters concerning the 2014 Gubernatorial Race. I have received support and encouragement to run for this office and I am very humbled and appreciative. During this time, Kim and I have prayerfully considered this important decision. We have decided that this race is not the right choice for us at this time,” Darr said in a statement.
Darr said he would support former 3rd District Congressman Asa Hutchinson in the GOP primary. Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman has also announced he will seek the GOP nomination for governor.
“I am happy to announce my support of my friend, Asa Hutchinson for Governor of our great state. I intend to do anything that Asa deems helpful to assist him in his race for our state's highest office,” noted Darr’s statement.
The 2014 race for governor has already proven tumultuous. The two leading candidates on the Democratic side have already dropped. Former U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott, announced in 2012 he would take a private sector job instead of succeed popular Gov. Mike Beebe, who is term limited.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel told supporters on Jan. 25 that he was out of the race. Within minutes of McDaniel’s exit announcement, former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter said he’ll seek the Democratic nomination for governor. To date, he is the only Democrat to announce for the state’s top post.
McDaniel eventually caved to the pressure resulting from an “inappropriate” relationship he admitted to in a Dec. 18 statement.
In what he called his “first campaign stop,” Hutchinson told a Fort Smith audience on Jan. 8 that he decided to run for governor to bring his leadership skills to the state.
“People ask me, ‘Why do you want to do this?’ And the answer is very simple. If you’re engaged in leadership at a public level, if you’re engaged in leadership and believe you have capabilities, what a great joy it is to bring those leadership skills to the state of Arkansas that you love and make a difference for the state.”