Updated 

Griffin endorses Hutchinson for governor


LITTLE ROCK — Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson received an endorsement Wednesday from U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock.

“Asa is a serious leader who brings unrivaled experience and conservative innovative ideas — like his tax relief proposal — to the governor’s race and will move Arkansas forward,” Griffin said in a news release issued by Hutchinson’s campaign.

Hutchinson, a former congressman and undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, announced Tuesday that if elected he will push for a state income tax cut for people earning between $20,400 and $75,000 a year. The tax cut would amount to about $300 per person, he said.

“Asa understands what it takes to grow jobs, attract investment and deliver smarter state government that respects hard-earned taxpayer dollars,” Griffin said in the release. “I am going to do everything I can to help him get elected. I am proud to call Asa friend and look forward to calling him Governor.”

Hutchinson has two announced GOP primary opponents, Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman and state Rep. Debra Hobbs of Rogers. Former U.S. Rep. Mike Ross is the only Democrat currently running for the office. Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe is prohibited by term limits from seeking a third term.

Griffin announced last month he would not seek a third term in Congress, citing a desire to spend more time in Arkansas with his family. The announcement triggered speculation that at some point he may seek a state office, possibly the governor’s seat. His endorsement of Hutchinson apparently indicates a governor’s race is not in his immediate plans.