Around the South for May 25: AR, TX & VA


Arkansas: Hutchinson will seek reelection. To no one’s surprise, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) announced last week that he will run for a second term in 2018. In a news release, the governor stated, “I am running for reelection to expand on our progress from pro-growth tax reform to marketing our state to the world to create more jobs here at home.” His previous positions include US Representative, Drug Enforcement Agency director and Homeland Security undersecretary ……. Texas: Voter ID law watered down. In response to a federal court order declaring its previous law requirement a photo ID to vote, both chambers of the Texas legislature have passed new versions of the law designed to pass muster with the courts. The version passed in both the Senate and House versions of the amended law allows persons without a photo ID to vote by signing an affidavit explaining why they don’t have a photo ID. The House version, passed by 93 to 55, varied from the federal court order in that it provides for a Class A misdemeanor for lying on the affidavit ……. Virginia: Democratic lite guv race could make history. Depending on the outcome of the June 13 primary, Virginia could elect its first African American to a statewide office since Douglas Wilder was elected lieutenant governor in 1985 if former federal prosecutor Justin Fairfax wins. Or the state could elect its first woman to a statewide office if lobbyist and party activist Susan Platt wins. Also running is former federal prosecutor Gene Rossi, who is largely self-financed, reports the Washington Post. All three are from Northern Virginia, which is rapidly becoming a Democratic stronghold …….