The 2018 elections are more than 300 days and ten months away, but it means that we're still getting candidates for House, Senate, and gubernatorial seats coming into races, and at least on the Republican side some of these individuals running for office are real doozies. Arkansas is no different, the state that gave us Bill Clinton 30 years ago now has open bigots like Jan Morgan running for his office.
A Hot Springs Republican has entered the governor's race and will challenge Gov. Asa Hutchinson in the GOP primary in May.
Jan Morgan, 54, announced her candidacy in a new release sent Sunday night and at an event in Hot Springs.
She owns the Gun Cave shooting range in Hot Springs. In 2014, she drew national media attention by declaring her gun range a "Muslim Free Zone," saying that she was concerned about the safety of other customers if Muslims patronized her business.
In her campaign's news release, Morgan said she traveled the state for six months talking to Arkansans before making her decision to run.
"As we embark on the dawn of a new day and new year in Arkansas, I am excited about the future potential of our beautiful state and her people," she was quoted as saying.
Morgan has criticized Hutchinson as someone who "campaigns like a conservative Republican but governs like a liberal Democrat." If elected, Morgan would become Arkansas' first female governor.
Last year, she was an opponent of legislation that Hutchinson signed into law aimed at barring concealed-carry permit holders, even those with up to eight hours of extra training, from Razorback Stadium and other locations hosting college sporting events.
In a normal universe, Morgan would be laughed out of politics and possibly business, as even GOP Second Amendment purists would realize that denying sales of firearms to people based solely on religion would in fact be a massive violation of the Constitution.
Sadly, Islamophobia is now not only proper impetus to propel Morgan into state GOP politics, but I'd dare say that it makes her the frontrunner to succeed Hutchinson.
Hutchinson by the way is a doctrinaire tea party Republican who happily signed into law a raft of terrible anti-choice abortion bills and scrapped Medicaid expansion. He's now a "liberal Democrat" according to Morgan.