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Hutchinson Officially Begins Ark. Governor Campaign Hutchinson Officially Begins Ark. Governor Campaign

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Hutchinson Officially Begins Ark. Governor Campaign

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Former Arkansas Rep. Asa Hutchinson during a news conference at National Press Club in Washington, Tuesday, April 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., announced Wednesday that he has raised more than $350,000 for his nascent gubernatorial campaign.

"In January I publicly stated that I would be a candidate for Governor in 2014. Today, I make that candidacy official and will formally begin the campaign with active efforts in raising funds and appearances across the state," Hutchinson said in a release.

Hutchinson will report having $346,600 on hand as of March 31, the end of the first fundraising quarter. Reports must be filed by April 15. Though Hutchinson has spent the last few months developing the National Rifle Association's school safety program, he didn't mention the Second Amendment as an area of focus for his campaign. Instead Hutchinson said he would promote tax reform, education and helping to develop the state's economy.

Hutchinson is the second candidate to release fundraising numbers. Former Democratic Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter's campaign reported that it had raised more than $1 million, but that includes a $640,000 loan to the campaign from Halter himself.

Former Democratic Rep. Mike Ross will announce his run next Wednesday. Though he's officially jumping into the race more than two months after Halter, he's considered an able fundraiser. Safe Foods CEO Curtis Coleman, a Republican candidate, hasn't reported his fundraising totals yet, but his campaign said they would be released Wednesday afternoon.

The candidates are running to succeed popular-but-term-limited Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.

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