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Former Arkansas governor Hutchinson meets donor threshold for Republican presidential primary debate

by Alex Thomas | August 20, 2023 at 9:37 a.m.
Republican presidential candidate former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson waves to the audience during a fundraising event for U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

WASHINGTON — Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday he has reached the donor threshold necessary to participate in Wednesday’s Republican presidential primary debate.

Hutchinson, who served as Arkansas’ governor from 2015 to 2023, made up a gap of more than 33,000 unique donors from his July 14 campaign finance report to reach the 40,000 donor threshold.

According to America Strong and Free Action PAC, a political action committee associated with Hutchinson, the former governor collected contributions from more than 20,000 donors over the past two weeks.

Hutchinson’s campaign said it submitted nearly 42,000 unique donors to be verified by the Republican National Committee.

“I am thankful to the tens of thousands of Americans who have contributed to my campaign and helped ensure my message of consistent, commonsense, conservative leadership is represented on the debate stage this Wednesday evening,” Hutchinson said Sunday morning in a statement.

“I intend to continue speaking the truth when it comes to the responsibility that Donald Trump bears for the attacks on our democracy and justice system. I look forward to a substantive debate in Milwaukee.”

In regards to donations, campaigns must receive donations from at least 200 unique donors in 20 states and pledge to support the party’s eventual nominee for the White House. Hutchinson has been a frequent critic of Trump, the party’s front-runner, following the latter’s repeated use of false claims concerning the 2020 presidential election, adding he does not believe Trump will win the nomination.

Other conditions to qualify for Wednesday’s debate include polling at 1% in three national polls or two national polls and two polls from early states in the primary process.

It is unclear if Trump will attend Wednesday's debate, with the former president questioning if he needs to participate. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley are among the candidates who have met the conditions to qualify for the forum.


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