Asa Hutchinson

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William Asa Hutchinson, II
Asa Hutchinson Official Governor Photo.jpg
46th Governor of Arkansas
From: January 13, 2015 – present
Lieutenant Tim Griffin
Predecessor Mike Beebe
Successor Incumbent (no successor)
U.S. Representative from Arkansas's 3rd Congressional District
From: January 3, 1997 – August 6, 2001
Predecessor Tim Hutchinson
Successor John Boozman
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Susan Burrell
Religion Southern Baptist

William Asa Hutchinson, II (born December 3, 1950), known as Asa Hutchinson, is the 46th governor of Arkansas. Prior to this, he served in a variety of positions, including U.S. Representative from 1997 to 2001 and as a the director of the Drug Enforcement Administration from 2001 to 2003.

Early life and education

Hutchinson was born on December 3, 1950 in Bentonville, Arkansas.[1] He graduated from Springdale High School in Springdale, Arkansas in 1968, and then he went on to Bob Jones University, graduating in 1972 with a B.S. in accounting.[1][2] He graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1975 with a J.D.[1]

Legal career

In 1977, Hutchinson was elected as city attorney of Bentonville, Arkansas,[3] serving until 1978.[1] He was appointed by U.S. president Ronald Reagan to the position of United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, being the youngest U.S. attorney at the time.[4] He would serve in the position from 1982 to 1985,[1] and during that time, he sentenced Bill Clinton's brother to prison.[5]

Early political career

In 1972, while still at law school, Hutchinson volunteered for Democrat David Pryor's unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign against veteran Senator John McClellan, but Hutchinson soon became a Republican.[3] Hutchinson ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1986 and for Arkansas Attorney General in 1990.[1] Additionally, he served as the chairman of the Arkansas State Republican Committee from 1990 to 1995.[1]

U.S. House of Representatives

Hutchinson ran for Congress for the 3rd district in Arkansas in 1996 and won.[1] He served until August 6, 2001, but resigned to take a position as director of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington, D.C.[1] In 1998, Hutchinson was appointed by the U.S. House to conduct the impeachment proceedings against then U.S. President Bill Clinton, a former Arkansas governor.[1][5]

Executive branch

In 2001, Hutchinson was appointed by president George W. Bush as administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration,[3] and he would serve in that position until 2003, when he was appointed as the first Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security at the Department of Homeland Security.[4] He served as undersecretary until 2005.[1]

Governor of Arkansas since 2015

2014 gubernatorial election results.

Hutchinson ran for Governor of Arkansas in 2006, becoming the Republican nominee, receiving 40.67 percent of the vote.[6](pg. 18)

In 2014, Hutchinson ran again for governor, winning the general election with 55.44 percent of the vote against Mike Ross.[7] The Republican Party won the election in a landslide, taking every federal and statewide office and increasing its majorities in the legislature.[3]

In early April 2015, Hutchinson came under criticism from liberals and supporters of the homosexual agenda for signing a religious liberty bill into law that critics thought would lead to discrimination of homosexuals. Hutchinson bowed to the pressure and modified the bill.[8][9]

On January 26, 2017, Hutchinson signed a bill into law banning dismemberment abortions, a blatant form of murder of dismemberment abortions.[10] Hutchinson had also signed a bill in 2015 requiring that abortion doctors who give abortion-inducing pills must have a contract with another doctor with admitting privileges in nearby hospitals. The Supreme Court allowed the law to go into effect in 2018.[11][12][13]

On March 22, 2017, Hutchinson signed into law a bill expanding concealed carry in Arkansas, including allowing campus carry.[14][15] On March 24, 2017, Hutchinson signed a bill into law reinstating a revised version of Arkansas's voter ID law, which had been struck down by the state's supreme court in 2014.[16]

On February 19, 2019, Hutchinson signed a bill into law that would automatically make abortion illegal if Roe v. Wade is overturned.[17]

In March 2019, Hutchinson signed a bill abolishing civil asset forfeiture, prohibiting law enforcement in Arkansas from taking one's property before a criminal conviction.[18]

Though originally a conservative, Hutchinson has drifted to the left since becoming governor and now falls within the Moderate Republican camp. In 2020, he invited resettled refugees to occupy properties in Washington County in northwestern Arkansas though the administration of President Donald Trump has given the states the right to opt-out from the resettlements. Neighboring Governor Greg Abbott of Texas, for instance, is one of eight state governors who has taken the opt-out choice. Hutchinson defended his position, having declared that "a refugee coming to America is not an illegal entry. This was an executive branch decision that I was called upon to make.”[19]

In 2021, Hutchinson announced that he will not support the potential return in 2024 of former U.S. President Donald Trump into the presidential nominating process.[20]

In April 2021, conservatives were dismayed when Governor Hutchinson vetoed legislation to ban genital mutilation and hormone treatments for minors. He said that the legislation went "too far" and took a "pro-choice" position on the issue, invoking what he claimed were the views of limited government advocates Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley, Jr. The Republican legislature the next day overrode Hutchinson's veto.[21]

Hutchinson has been criticized by some for promoting Faucism by advocating a statewide-level mask mandate for school-aged children.[22]

Personal life

Hutchinson and his wife, Susan, together have four children.[23] His brother, Tim Hutchinson, has also served in a variety of positions, most notably as U.S. Representative in the same district as his brother from 1993 to 1997, and as U.S. Senator from 1997 to 2003.[24]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 HUTCHINSON, Asa, (1950 - ). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  2. Asa Hutchinson's Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Hardy, Benjamin (January 15, 2015). Arkansan of the Year: Asa Hutchinson. Arkansas Times. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Asa Hutchinson. National Governors Association. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Glueck, Katie (October 16, 2014). Clinton adversary's change of heart. Politico. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  6. Voices of Arkansas: A Report on Voting Trends in the Natural State (2006 election results). Arkansas Secretary of State. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  7. November 4, 2014 Arkansas General Election and Nonpartisan Runoff Election: Official Results. Arkansas Secretary of State. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  8. Richardson, Valerie (April 2, 2015). Arkansas, Indiana Religious Freedom Bill Revisions Spark More Debates. The Washington Times. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  9. Huston, Warner Todd (April 2, 2015). Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Signs Altered Religious Liberty Bill. Breitbart News, Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  10. Bilger, Micaiah (January 27, 2017). Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson Signs Bill to Ban Dismemberment Abortions Tearing Off Babies’ Limbs. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  11. Freiburger, Calvin (May 29, 2018). Supreme Court rejects Planned Parenthood bid to block Arkansas abortion law. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  12. Berry, Susan (May 30, 2018). Supreme Court Rejects Planned Parenthood Challenge to Arkansas Abortion Law. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  13. Hurley, Lawrence (May 29, 2018). U.S. top court rejects challenge to strict Arkansas abortion law. Reuters. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  14. Hawkins, Awr (March 16, 2017). Campus Carry Passes Arkansas Legislature, Heads to Governor’s Desk. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  15. Pettit, Emma (March 22, 2017). VIDEO: Hutchinson signs bill expanding where concealed-carry holders can bring guns in state. Arkansas Online. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  16. Lyon, John (March 24, 2017). Arkansas governor signs voter ID bill into law. Arkansas News. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  17. Multiple references:
  18. Byas, Steve (July 25, 2019). Arkansas Halts Civil Asset Forfeiture and Closes Federal Loophole. The New American. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  19. John Nino (January 16, 20220). Arkansas Governor is Under Fire for Trying to Turn His State into a Third World Hellhole. Retrieved on January 17, 2020.
  20. James Samson. Asa Hutchinson Says He'll Refuse to Support Trump In 2024 – ‘He Should Not Define Our Future’. Retrieved on February 22, 2021.
  21. Gov. Asa Hutchinson: Reagan Would Support Transgender Genital Mutilation As a Blessing of Liberty. t (April 7, 2021).
  22. Horowitz, Daniel (August 2, 2021). Horowitz: Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson calls special session to double down on failed faucism. The Blaze. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  23. Governor Asa Hutchinson. Arkansas Governor. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  24. HUTCHINSON, Timothy, (1949 - ). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 29, 2016.

External links