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Jared Henderson to run as Democratic candidate for governor

Jared Henderson, the 39-year old former executive director for Teach for America’s Arkansas region, announced on Tuesday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for Arkansas governor. (KATV Photo)

LITTLE ROCK (TALK BUSINESS & POLITICS/KATV) -- Arkansas Democrats received an early Christmas present.

Jared Henderson, the 39-year old former executive director for Teach for America’s Arkansas region, announced on Tuesday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for Arkansas governor. No other Democrat has announced for the post to challenge incumbent Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

In an interview with Talk Business & Politics, Henderson, who is married to a Little Rock physician, said his 13-month old son’s future was a motivator for this run.

“I think that by the time my son is an adult, I think Arkansas can have one of the most dynamic economies in the country and I think that we can have an education system that is truly exemplary when compared to anywhere else in the nation, but I think to do that, we have to recognize that we're living in one of the most rapid and dynamic periods of change in human history and I do not think that's an exaggeration,” he said. “If we're going to seize this moment and not just manage the challenges, but actually seize the opportunity, we need some bold but doable solutions in education, in economic development, and a few other areas.”

Henderson spent six years with Teach for America, a national non-profit, and was responsible for more than 1,500 teachers and 150 employees, according to his biography. He began his career as a research scientist and manager at NASA and worked at consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. He holds a bachelor’s degrees in computer science and physics from the University of Arkansas. He later earned master’s degrees in business administration and public administration from Harvard University.

In the wide-ranging TB&P interview, Henderson outlined his thoughts on education, jobs and the economy, healthcare, abortion, gun rights and the death penalty. Watch his full interview here.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson responded to Henderson's announcement on Tuesday saying he welcomed the candidate to the race and there could be more in the future. He tells KATV he looks forward to getting to know the opponent and his ideas.





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