Fox News analyst and Arkansas gun-rights activist, Jan Morgan, shot her own fireworks in the new year by stunning the Republican Party with a challenge to incumbent Governor Asa Hutchinson, and she is now touring the state with a visit to Hope, hosted by the Hope Tea Party on Friday, January 26 at Hope's Fair Park Coliseum.
Fox News analyst and Arkansas gun-rights activist, Jan Morgan, shot her own fireworks in the new year by stunning the Republican Party with a challenge to incumbent Governor Asa Hutchinson, and she is now touring the state with a visit to Hope, hosted by the Hope Tea Party on Friday, January 26 at Hope’s Fair Park Coliseum.
In an interview Sunday with the Hope Star/Nevada Picayune, Morgan said “I am not dividing the Republican Party; it is already divided. Asa Hutchinson represents the establishment and is a Republican in Name only; I am a true constitutional conservative, and that is the choice Arkansas voters face in May.”
Morgan said that too many times “Republicans in Little Rock are not acting — or voting - like Democrats, and in four years under Asa Hutchinson, state government has continued to grow. The people of Arkansas want less government not more.”
Local Tea Party Chair Barbara Cox said, “It is with great excitement that we will be hosting Jan Morgan. She will speak to our group concerning her vision for Arkansas and her personal ideals and will take questions from the audience.”
Cox added that Morgan’s appearance was not necessarily a formal endorsement by the Hope Tea Party, but she said “We believe all candidates deserve to be heard; we want voters to be informed. We look forward to having Jan here and hearing what she has to say.”
Cox also said that local Tea Party members at the event would be wearing Red as a show of solidarity and in honor of the Veterans.
Morgan, who has gained national fame and attention as a gun’s rights activist, has a number of connections to the Ark-La-Tex region. She lived for many years in Texarkana as well as eastern Texas, and the pastor at her wedding was none other than one of Hope’s favorite sons, Mike Huckabee.
“I’ve known Mike and Sarah (Huckabee Sanders) for years. I think Sarah is doing a great job as President Trump’s Press Secretary, and I think President Trump is going a great job. His election was a wake-up call; people are sick of career politicians and establishment politics,” Morgan said.
Some Hope locals will also recall Morgan as a Texarkana broadcaster, where she lived and worked in the 1980s, and her appearances on Christian station KLFI TV.
Morgan first made national headlines in 2014 by declaring her gun range a "Muslim Free Zone,” and last year, she testified against a measure that would have exempted certain zones from allowing concealed carry of firearms at a state House Judiciary Committee hearing.
Over the past few years, she has been a regular television contributor or analyst on the Fox News Network, which she points out “Hutchinson has been on MSNBC and Morning Joe, and I’ve been on Fox Network. That should tell you all you need to know there.”
Demonstrating her media savvy, Morgan pointed out various news articles from the state media showing spending and budget increases during Hutchinson’s administration.
“Hutchinson has proposed increasing state spending by more than $172 million. In my opinion, we need to be cutting state government, not increasing spending. We can’t afford another four years with Hutchinson,” Morgan said.
Morgan says that voters “have been fooled” by Hutchinson, saying “He has talked about income tax decreases, but the state has too many fees, too many business taxes, and too many taxes on personal property, which is already subject to sales taxes. We should be reducing taxes, and we should be reducing government.”
As for southwestern Arkansas, Morgan said “There are many parts of this state where ‘Moms and Pops’ and small business have given up due to too many regulations and too many tax burdens. And, it is amazing to me that Hutchinson will go half way around the world to China, and help them establish businesses here, and not help our hometown Arkansas businesses more.”
Morgan has been framed across the state and national media by any number of monikers from “a female Donald Trump,” to “Sarah Palin on steroids” to “Gun-rights Goddess” to the latest “Tea Party darling,” but Morgan didn’t shy away from those labels, instead embracing them all, saying “I am proud to be the true conservative choice in this race. I am glad to be the standard bearer for what most of our citizens believe in.”
If elected, Morgan would make history as the first woman governor in Arkansas.
Morgan cites Trump’s victory in Arkansas with over 60-percent of the vote that “citizens are ready for a change.” Trump won the state in 2016 with 60.57-percent of the vote, while Hillary Clinton received 33.65-percent.
In the marquee state race of 2018, the governor’s race between Hutchinson and Morgan will be widely observed throughout Arkansas. The Republican Primary election will happen on May 22, with the general election set for November 6, 2018.
Thus far, in the Democratic field, Jared Henderson, a former executive director of Arkansas’ Teach for America, is only announced candidate, and if Henderson remains unopposed, then he would face the GOP Primary winner in the General Election.