Former GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson campaigns in the Quad Cities Area

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 11:54 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Former Governor of Arkansas and Republican hopeful Asa Hutchinson paid a visit to the Quad Cities on Thursday, campaigning in Muscatine and Scott counties.

Hutchinson is one of the more experienced hopefuls that have declared their candidacy. He served as a federal judge, spent time as a U.S. Representative and worked in the DEA and Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.

Thursday evening he made a stop at the Scott County Republican Party’s “Pints & Politics,” event. The candidate said Iowa’s role as the first caucus is important.

“Iowans take their job very seriously,” Hutchinson said. “They’re very knowledgeable on the issues.”

He hopes his experience will set him apart from what he calls the “loud voices” In the 2024 Republican Primary.

“I know how to cut expenses, when we need to grow the economy and balance the budget,” Hutchinson said. “My experience fits with the challenges that we face.”

Republican voter Craig Kohl came to learn about the governor’s platform. He said he’s willing to depart from those voices.

“I’m looking to see what he’s got for defense,” Kohl said. “We need policies so that they can put a lot of fuel back onto the market and decrease the prices.”

Hutchinson served as the first Secretary for Border and Transportation Security in the newly created Department of Homeland Security. He said he supports giving more resources to boosting legal immigration.

“We have to have more immigration judges, we’re going to have to have more border patrol,” Hutchinson said. “We’re going to have to have stricter standards as to how you determine who can be allowed into our country.”

Securing the U.S. - Mexico border is part of his solution to drug trafficking and gun violence.

“Respond quickly if there’s an intrusion and that we can protect the United States that we can stop that illegal flow coming into our country,” Hutchinson said. “That to me is what a secure border looks like.”

With both issues continuing to make national headlines, he also emphasized investing in mental health.

“We need to have more of our Medicaid dollars devoted to this purpose so we can simplify the process,” Hutchinson said. “We can make it a priority in the delivery of those mental health services, which include addiction counseling.

The campaign will continue a tour of the QCA, with visits to Wilton and Clinton on Friday.