Arkansas has a long standing history of prominent families in politics, from Rockefeller’s to Clintons, from Huckabee’s to Hutchinson’s. In almost every modern Presidential election, there is an Arkansan somewhere on the stage… and 2024 will be no different with former Governor Asa Hutchinson vying for the opportunity to take on Trump and take down Biden. Asa’s political experience indeed rivals Biden’s, going all the way back to Ronald Reagan and serving several different offices over the past forty years, at state and national levels.
Before he was elected to Congress, he practiced law in rural Arkansas for 21 years. On the national stage he has always been known as a neoconservative, since he was appointed in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. At the age of 31, he was the youngest U.S. Attorney in the United States.
After that, he had a bit of a losing streak… In 1986, he lost a run for the Senate to Democrat Dale Bumpers, before losing a race for Arkansas Attorney General to Winston Bryant four years later. He later successfully ran for the House of Representatives in 1996, where he served until 2001, when president George W. Bush nominated him as Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Then in 2003, Bush appointed him as the Under Secretary for border and transportation security at the newly established Department of Homeland Security before he retired from the Bush administration in 2005, to return to Arkansas and run for Governor.
In 2006, Hutchinson was the Republican nominee for governor of Arkansas, but lost to Democrat nominee Mike Beebe. In 2014, he tried again, this time becoming Governor of Arkansas by defeating the Democratic nominee, U.S. Representative Mike Ross. He won the next election easily, with almost two-thirds of the vote. Due to term limits, this was the last time he could serve as the Governor of Arkansas. He was succeeded by Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Asa’s experience looks good on paper… and in a normal America, he is a good, strong old school Republican candidate. Unfortunately, we aren’t currently living in a normal America. While his experience with DHS and drugs could likely help with the current border issues, his insulting comments about Donald Trump are not going to age well amongst the hardcore Trumper voters. He upset a lot of people with that comment about Trump not being morally qualified to run due to the court cases… especially those of us who know that the Hutchinson family isn’t exactly virginal in the morals department. In an echo of the whole Hunter Biden debacle, we have to pay attention to Asa’s son and namesake, William Asa Hutchinson III, a former attorney in Arkansas. He is always in trouble for drugs, DUI’s, unpaid child support and just random shenanigans of the privileged class, and usually enjoys light sentencing due to his good ol’ boy last name. In truth, Asa is basically one lost laptop away from being the GOP Biden, as far as morals go.
Hutchinson Political Family Tree
- Asa’s brother, Tim Hutchinson, served in the Arkansas State House from 1985 to 1993, in the U.S. House from 1993 to 1997 and in the U.S. Senate from 1997 to 2003.
- Tim’s ex-wife, Donna Jean King Hutchinson, was a member of the Arkansas State House from 2007 to 2013.
- Tim’s son, Jeremy Hutchinson, was in the Arkansas State House from 2000 to 2007 and in the State Senate from 2011 to 2018. In 2023, he was sentenced to eight years in prison in separate bribery and corruption cases.
- Jeremy’s twin brother, Timothy Hutchinson, was in the Arkansas State House from 2005 to 2011.
- Kim Hendren married Asa’s sister, Marylea. Kim served in the Arkansas State Senate from 1979 to 1983, in the State House from 2001 to 2003, in the State Senate again from 2003 to 2013, and in the State House again from 2015 to 2019.
- Kim’s son, Jim Hendren, is a sitting State Senator. He was a member of the State House from 1995 to 2001.
- Hope Hendren Duke, one of Kim’s daughters, is a new member of the State House, taking office in 2023.
- Gayla Hendren McKenzie, another of Kim’s daughters, was a member of the State House from 2019 to 2023