GOP presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson meets with JoCo Republicans

Asa Hutchinson visited Iowa City on Monday, kicking off his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. With a long-shot bid for the nomination, Hutchinson aims to redirect the party from the Trump years.


Emily Nyberg

Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson speaks during a meet and greet at the Miller Learning Center in Iowa City on Monday, May 1, 2023. Hutchinson is campaigning for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Liam Halawith, Politics Editor

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson met with the Johnson County Republicans on Monday for his first day of meet-and-greets in eastern Iowa this week. 

More than 30 Johnson County Republicans joined Hutchinson to ask him about his platform less than a week after he announced his candidacy. Hutchinson will visit with the Linn County Republicans on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Parlor City Pub on 3rd Street in Cedar Rapids. 

At the event, Hutchinson offered his success as Arkansas Governor as proof of his strong conservative leadership. He led the push for a decrease in the state income tax rate from 7 percent to 4.9 percent. He also pointed out his success as chair of the Arkansas Republican Party from 1991 to 1995. 

When Hutchinson was first elected to office, he rode in on a red wave with the Arkansas Legislature, governor’s office, and constitutional offices all Republican. Earlier this year,  he handed over the governor’s seat to former President Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders

“I am the first governor to handoff to a second Republican administration and so this has been historic what we’ve done in Arkansas,” Hutchinson said. “it shows where you start to where you end, and I’ve been fighting for those consistent conservative values all through that time.” 

Hutchinson also pointed out his history in leadership roles in the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security under the George H.W. Bush administration. He also pledged to enforce immigration laws and the transport of drugs into the U.S. by finishing the border wall, combatting the cartel, and enforcing asylum laws. 

“We’ve got to secure the border,” Hutchinson said. “And I can elaborate on that but I have three simple words for it and that is enforced the law.” 

University of Iowa College Republicans Vice Chair Kyle Clare met Hutchinson at the Johnson County Republicans event and an earlier event Monday with the UI College Republicans. 

Clare said he was excited to meet with Hutchinson and that his team reached out to the UI College Republicans to meet with them — which Clare said he 

“I think he’s very principled,” Clare said. “I think he has a good head on his shoulders. So, I’m excited that he’s here in Iowa and meeting with us.”