2022 Arkansas gubernatorial election candidates

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Erica Roman

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Loren Savage, Writer

This year Election Day is on Nov. 8. For Arkansans, this means that we get to vote for a new governor. Asa Hutchinson is unable to rerun due to term limits. There are four democrats, one Republican, and one libertarian running in this gubernatorial race.

Anthony Bland is one of the democrats running in this race. He is the CEO of the Dr. Anthony D. Bland Foundation, which provides assistance to education, the performing arts, and cancer research. He is currently a business teacher in Little Rock. Bland promises to focus on creating opportunities to keep families in Arkansas. On his campaign website, he states, “ … we owe it to our state to do our part to restore and make the American dream a reality for every and all Arkansans.” He plans to invest in infrastructure and provide access to affordable and accessible health care. Bland believes that there should be more investment in secondary education in order to help those students prepare for careers and college. He is also for reducing student loan debt. Bland wants to raise the minimum wage, saying that he believes in a livable wage. He opposes the SAFE Act passed in 2021, he believes that people should be able to make those decisions for themselves. He also supports a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.

Chris Jones is another democrat running. He attended Morehouse College on a NASA Scholarship for physics and math and then went on to study at MIT to become a nuclear engineer. He led the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. Jones believes that there is much room for growth in the state of Arkansas. He plans on expanding education opportunities, strengthening infrastructure and protecting voting rights. Jones does not believe that the government should be able to step in and stop transgender kids from medically transitioning. He believes that abortion laws should be more relaxed.

Democrat, James Russell, is also running. Russell studied Premed Biology at the University of Central Arkansas and worked for the Arkansas State Medical Board. He owns and operates New Dawn Counseling with his wife. Russell wants to stress the importance of science and work on vaccine distribution logistics. He plans on addressing wealth inequality and poverty, updating tax codes and budget practices and investing in education. Russell is a supporter of the second amendment, responsible gun ownership, and common-sense gun laws. He would like to address the abuse of firearms that can put vulnerable and marginalized communities in danger. He also believes in treating the opioid crisis as a health crisis, rather than demonizing people for addiction.

Supha Xayprasith-Mays is the last democrat running for governor. Xayprasith-Mays worked at the Walmart home office for many years in the People Division in Regional Personnel. She is the president/CEO of Inclusion Magazine and Inclusion Job Inc. She is a supporter of the free market. Xayprasith-Mays opposes discriminatory trans-youth laws and believes that women should be able to make decisions about their own bodies.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the only Republican running in this gubernatorial race. She served as press secretary under the Trump administration and left the position in June 2019. She managed Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign and signed on as a senior adviser to the Trump campaign in 2016. Sanders opposes community shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is anti-abortion and opposes critical race theory being taught in schools. She plans to advocate for quality education and higher-paying jobs. According to a campaign commercial, her goal is to provide, “A better life for all.”

Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. is the only libertarian running in this race. He ran against Tom Cotton for senate in 2020. According to his website, he wants to be “ … a servant leader and advocate of liberty, equality, and abundance for all Arkansans.” He disagrees with vaccine mandates but does support mask mandates. Harrington’s prison reform beliefs are that the state should help people released better integrate into society and make sure that they do not end up back in prison. He also believes that people in prison for nonviolent crimes, especially those pertaining to drug offenses, should be released and pursue avenues of restorative justice with the state.

Election Day is Nov. 8 of this year. The primaries are on May 24, 2022, and the primary runoffs are on Jun 21, 2022. In the state of Arkansas, you must be registered to vote 30 days before Election Day to be eligible to vote in that election. You can register to vote once you turn 18 or if you are 17 you may register if you will be 18 by Election Day.