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Republican challenger Jan Morgan won't endorse Gov. Hutchinson if he wins primary

Jan Morgan tells KATV she's going to work on shrinking the size of government because that's what conservatives do unlike Gov. Hutchinson, who she calls an establishment progressive, spending way too much money.

Governor Asa Hutchinson officially has a Republican challenger for his seat.

Jan Morgan, a gun range owner out of Hot Springs, made her way to the Arkansas State Capitol and filed on Monday morning.

Morgan tells KATV she's going to work on shrinking the size of government because that's what conservatives do unlike Hutchinson, who she calls an establishment progressive, spending way too much money.

When asked her if she would endorse Hutchinson if he beats her in the primary, her answer, “absolutely not”.

“Here's some definite differences I’m going to work on shrinking the size of government, that's what conservatives do,” said Morgan. “What is a key indicator on whether you're a growing government? You look at how much your government is spending, under our current leadership, under Asa's term, he has increased spending every single year."

“$133 million in increased spending the first year, $140 million increased spending second year. Third year he was in office he increased spending $160 million and now he's proposing to increase spending by $172 million dollars. That's over $600 million in increases that is a record you cannot hide from and it is not a record of conservative leadership,” added Morgan.

While Morgan says she believes even the current Libertarian candidate, Mark West, is more conservative than Hutchinson, the governor defended his conservatism when he filed last week.

"Everybody who knows my entire career and my record as governor knows that I have not only believed and campaigned as a conservative but governed as a conservative,” Hutchinson said.

Morgan says another difference between her and Hutchinson are their views on taxes.

“We are among the poorest in America by income and yet our citizens are the most heavily taxes. That is unacceptable and we should have made huge strides in lightening the tax burden of the people of this state with a full term, there's no excuse for that. What I would like to see is us get away from the state income tax."

While Hutchinson told reporters last week he has a speaking engagement coming up with Morgan, Morgan made it clear to KATV she doesn’t plan on endorsing him if he beats her in the primary.

"Absolutely not, no I can't, and here's the reason...if Asa was even remotely conservative I wouldn't be in this race,” said Morgan.

KATV reached out to Asa Hutchinson's campaign, Hutchinson released this statement:

I believe Ronald Reagan would be profoundly disappointed in that viewpoint. President Reagan called for Republicans to unite and he led by example. When he had a tough fight, he supported the nominee of the party. I will support whomever the nominee for the party will be.

Channel 7 also asked Morgan about her making headlines a few years ago when she made her gun range in Hot Springs a “Muslim free zone”.

Morgan says she stands by her decision, and that at the time she made that decision two terrorist attacks had occurred on American soil and terrorists were reportedly training at local gun ranges. She decided then, that she wasn’t going to “train the next Jihadist”.

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