Former Arkansas Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson announced a White House bid

Washington (CNN) Former Governor of Arkansas. Asa Hutchinson He has announced his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, challenging former President Donald Trump, who is leading despite Criminal charges.

“I believe people want leaders who appeal to America’s best instincts,” Hutchinson said in an interview. ABC is new That was broadcast on Sunday.

The GOP primary field is still in its early stages. Trump announced a third presidential campaign last year, while former South Carolina governor and US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley became the first major challenger to challenge him when she announced her bid in February. Several Republicans, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence, are making moves to say they are considering presidential bids.

Hutchinson ended his term as Arkansas governor in early January, barring him from running for a third term but freeing him to continue his bid for the White House.

On his last day in office, he traveled to Iowa, the first Republican contest of the 2024 calendar, and then stepped up visits to other key early voting states. A frequent critic of Trump, he has hinted at the possibility of a presidential run for months, with repeated calls for a new direction for the GOP.

“I think the best thing in the right direction right now is to have more voices in opposition or providing an alternative to Donald Trump,” Hutchinson told CNN’s Dana Bash last month.

Following Trump’s indictment by a Manhattan grand jury last week, Hutchinson was the rare Republican to call on the former president to drop out of the 2024 race, telling Fox Business the case was a “distraction” and “an embarrassment to America.”

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Some Republican strategists say the 2024 primary field will favor Trump, who still enjoys significant support among the party base, and split the anti-Trump vote, allowing the former president to drop out of the race.

But Hutchinson has repeatedly maintained that a big field early in the race is ultimately good for the party.

“It’s good for our party, good for the debate, good for the debate coming up in August,” Hutchinson told CNN last month.

“So, of course, it narrows, and it narrows very quickly. We have to do a lot of introspection as you go along, but I think more voices offering alternative messages and problem-solving and ideas is good for our party,” he added.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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