State Rep. Debra Hobbs, R-Rogers, discussed her potential bid for governor in the 2014 election during a segment on "5NEWS Sunday Morning" that aired May 12.
One day after the show aired, on Monday (May 13), Hobbs told 5NEWS she is definitely running for governor and would have a formal announcement after June 17. Legislators are prohibited from raising campaign money 30 days before or after the session. The 2013 session formally ends on May 17.
Hobbs appeared on the show with state Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville. The two Northwest Arkansas legislators discussed the session that just ended and talked about some of the key issues that lawmakers addressed, including gun and abortion measures and Medicaid reform, also called "private option."
Hobbs also discussed her potential bid for governor, saying she would point out during the campaign that she voted against the private option plan that was approved in both legislative chambers before being signed by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.
Some Republicans assert that voting for the private-option plan is akin to supporting Obamacare since it was created under a provision of the president's Affordable Care Act. Conservative voters who oppose the plan say many GOP legislators vowed during their campaigns to fight Obamacare if elected, then went to Little Rock and hypocritically voted for it.
However, those who support it say it saves the state money by using federal dollars to fund private health care for poor Arkansans. Supporters also say those savings allowed the GOP-controlled Legislature to push through tax cuts during the 2013 session.
Hobbs said after the show she would run as an independent Republican if she enters the race.
Two Republicans, Asa Hutchinson and Curtis Coleman, have declared their candidacy. Democrats Mike Ross and Bill Halter also are running.
Beebe is term-limited and cannot seek re-election.