LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson has defeated businessman Curtis Coleman to win the Republican nomination for governor.
Hutchinson served more than four years representing northwest Arkansas in Congress. He was the GOP's gubernatorial nominee in 2006 but lost the general election to Gov. Mike Beebe that fall.
Coleman is the founder of North Little Rock-based Safe Foods Corp. and ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2010.
Hutchinson will face Democrat Mike Ross, also a former congressman, in the fall election. Beebe is term-limited and can't run for-re-election. Ross and Hutchinson both have endorsements from the National Rifle Association and from top figures in both parties.
"Perhaps it's unusual for someone ahead to say this but I believe Mike Ross and I should debate many times for the voters of Arkansas. Debating the direction of this state so I challenge Mr. Ross to a series of debates this fall campaign," said Hutchinson.
The two face libertarian nominee Frank Gilbert and Green Party nominee Joshua Drake in the general election.
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