Republican Leon Jones Jr. Announces Run for Arkansas Attorney General in 2022

Republican Leon Jones Jr. Announces Run for Arkansas Attorney General in 2022

Looks to be first African American to hold statewide office

Leon Jones Jr., who has held many firsts in the state of Arkansas, has announced plans to throw his hat in the ring in 2020 to run for office as the state’s next Attorney General.

In an appearance on Black Consumer News’ weekly radio show, BCN Headlines, Jones officially announced on Jan. 28 that he has begun his campaign for Arkansas Attorney General, one of the state’s highest offices. Jones said he is running because he wanted the opportunity to offer his service to Arkansas as the state’s chief attorney and consumer advocate. To hear the full BCN interview with the Little Rock attorney and government executive, go to the BCN podcast here.

Current officeholder Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, also a Republican, announced last year that she is running for governor in 2022. She will be running in the Republican primary against Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Sarah Sanders Huckabee, the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former spokeswoman for outgoing President Donald Trump.

Currently, director of the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission, Jones was the first black agency director of the Arkansas Department of Labor under Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is term-limited in 2022. Jones is running in the GOP primary where he is expected to face opposition from other Republicans, although none have officially announced yet.

Black Consumer News Publisher Wesley Brown (right) interviews Little Rock native Leon Jones Jr. on BCN Headlines talk show on KABF, 88.3 FM. The show is co-hosted by Angel Burt and Brown. Jones is running for Arkansas Attorney General on the Republican ticket in 2022 If he wins in November 2022, he would be the first black Arkansan to hold a statewide elected office.

In June 2019, Hutchinson downsized 42 state agencies into smaller departments with 15 new cabinet secretaries who were tasked with overhauling and then streamlining state government for the first time since former Gov. Dale Bumpers was in office in the early 1970s.

There are now 42 cabinet-level agencies reporting directly to the governor. Hutchinson said the new plans will have 15 secretaries that report to him with the goal of more efficient delivery of services and unraveling the task of overseeing the more than 200 agencies, boards and commissions that report to him.

If Jones win the Republican primary in May 2020, he is likely to be the state’s first black elected official although the general election is not until November 2022. However, no Democrat has won a statewide election since former Gov. Mike Beebe was elected in November 2012, and there is no announced candidate from the Democratic Party yet for governor or attorney general.

In addition, Republicans also hold all other statewide offices, including Lieutenant Governor. Like Rutledge, Griffin is running in 2022 against Rutledge and Sanders-Huckabee to replace Hutchinson, who is term-limited. The GOP in Arkansas also hold a supermajority in the Arkansas House and Senate during the ongoing 93rd General Assembly in Little Rock. The Arkansas Supreme Court, the third leg of state government, also includes a Republican majority.

Jones said while he is running as a Republican, he would run the attorney general’s office as an advocate for all the people of Arkansas.

To learn more about Jones’ campaign for Arkansas Attorney General, go to www.leonjonesjr4ag.com or check out his Facebook and Twitter pages @Leon4AG

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