Curtis Coleman Enters Governor’s Race

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Curtis Coleman, a Little Rock businessman, declared Thursday (Feb. 21) he is running in the 2014 governor’s race.

Coleman, a Republican, announced his candidacy in the Old Supreme Court chamber at the state Capitol in Little Rock.

“Like many Arkansans, I’m sick and tired of some of our state’s political leaders excusing their poor performance with the hollow pretext that ‘Arkansas is just a poor state,'” he said in a prepared statement issued to the media.

Coleman called for reform in the state’s tax structure, including a reduction in the personal state income tax.

“We’re falling farther behind because Arkansas has the most onerous, anti-business job-unfriendly tax and regulatory codes of any state we touch,” he said in the statement. “That means that Arkansans are suffering in two ways: We’re paying too much for state government, and new businesses and the jobs they bring don’t want to locate here and then pay too much for state government like we are.”

Coleman is president of Coleman Global, identified on LinkedIn as a management consulting firm, and is president of The Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy. He is also a co-founder and past president and CEO of Safe Foods Corp.

Coleman ran in the 2010 U.S. Senate GOP primary election, finishing fifth in an eight-person field, capturing 4.9 percent of the vote, records show. The primary election winner, John Boozman of Rogers, defeated incumbent U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., in the general election.

Another Republican, Asa Hutchinson, a former congressman, also has said he is running in the 2014 governor’s race.

Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, is prohibited by term limits from running again.

On the Democratic side, former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter filed the articles of incorporation on Jan. 30 allowing him to organize and finance a campaign for governor.

He said a formal campaign kickoff will be announced later.

Halter declared his intention to enter the governor’s race on Jan. 25, immediately after Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said he is dropping out.

McDaniel, who recently admitted to an inappropriate relationship with a Hot Springs lawyer, said in an e-mail to supporters if he ran for governor “this campaign would be about me personally, rather than Arkansas’ future.”