Former Dem lawmaker backs GOP hopeful Hutchinson

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A former longtime Democratic lawmaker is backing Republican Asa Hutchinson's bid to become Arkansas governor.

Former state Sen. Jerry Taylor on Tuesday endorsed Hutchinson, calling the former congressman the "right man to lead Arkansas now." Hutchinson is 1 of 3 Republicans seeking the party's nomination for the state's top office next year.

Taylor served in the state Senate from 2005 until January. He also served two terms in the state House and was mayor of Pine Bluff for eight years.

Hutchinson is running against Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman and state Rep. Debra Hobbs for the GOP nomination. Former U.S. Rep. Mike Ross is the only Democrat running.

Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe is term limited and can't seek re-election next year.

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