2024 Election /

Former Governor Asa Hutchinson Ends Presidential Campaign

'I stand by the campaign I ran,' said the 74-year-old Republican

Former Governor Asa Hutchinson Ends Presidential Campaign

Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has suspended his 2024 presidential campaign following the results of the Iowa Caucus.

Former President Donald Trump won the first-in-the-nation caucus by 30 points. Hutchinson took sixth place with just 191 votes of the roughly 110,000 votes cast on Jan. 15.

“I am suspending my campaign for President and driving back to Arkansas,” the 74-year-old said in a statement, per Fox News. “My message of being a principled Republican with experience and telling the truth about the current front runner did not sell in Iowa.”

I stand by the campaign I ran,” Hutchinson continued. “I answered every question, sounded the warning to the GOP about the risks in 2024 and presented hope for our country’s future.”

Hutchinson served as the governor of Arkansas for two terms from 2015 to 2023. 

“In 2018, he was re-elected with 65% of the vote, having received more votes than any other candidate for governor in the state’s history,” states the National Governors Association. “He won recognition for the state as a leader in computer science education, cut taxes by over $250 million and signed a law that exempts the retirement pay of veterans from state income tax.”

Hutchinson was appointed United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas by former President Ronald Reagan. Between 1997 and 2001, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served as the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The Republican announced his presidential campaign in April 2023.

I've traveled the country for six months, I hear people talk about the leadership of our country,” Hutchinson said during an interview with ABC News. “I'm convinced that people want leaders that appeal to the best of America, and not simply appeal to our worst instincts.”

“It’s still about retail politics in many of these states, and also, this is one of the most unpredictable political environments that I've seen in my lifetime,” he continued. “So my message of experience, of consistent conservatism and hope for our future in solving problems that face Americans, I think that that resonates.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis won the race for second place during the caucus, securing roughly 21.2% or 23,420 votes. He defeated former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (19.1%), pharmaceutical entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy (7.7%) and businessman and pastor Ryan Binkley (0.7%).

Ramaswamy suspended his campaign a few hours after the caucus was called in Trump’s favor. He has since endorsed the 45th president and will campaign on his behalf in New Hampshire ahead of the primary on Jan. 23.

It is unclear who Hutchinson may opt to endorse now that he has left the race. He accused Trump of failing to “govern by honoring our shared conservative values” in an opinion piece published by CNN in May.

“At this moment in our nation’s story, we cannot afford to elect leaders who are focused only on themselves or on settling scores with political opponents,” he wrote. “We need a consistent conservative who understands the limited role of government and believes in America as the beacon of freedom — including a free press — across the globe.”

Susan Del Percio, a Republican strategist, wrote in December that Hutchinson was “clearly running based on principle, not a thirst for power” but that he must leave the race.

He must end his campaign and find another way to keep Trump from being elected in 2024,” theorized Del Percio in a piece for MSNBC. “That most likely means endorsing the primary candidate he’s most closely aligned with, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. He would be an extremely creditable surrogate and could be helpful behind the scenes.”

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