DEMOCRAT? Jerry Taylor once claimed the label, but not the record.

  • DEMOCRAT? Jerry Taylor once claimed the label, but not the record.

Republican gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson today announced his endorsement by Jerry Taylor, a former Pine Bluff mayor, who ran as a Democrat for two terms each in the state Senate and state House. The rap on Taylor at the Capitol was always that he ran as a Democrat because it was the only way to be elected from the district he served. His voting record was far more at home with Republicans. He once hosted a fund-raiser for a Republican senator, Gilbert Baker, with a strong Democratic opponent.


Taylor endorses Hutchinson because of, you guessed it, Obamacare. That word is just about the only one in the Republican playbook this year.

Hutchinson’s news release didn’t mention that Taylor was one of the named defendants in the successfully settled lawsuits over legislative abuse of expense accounts. To quote the lawsuit:


Defendant Taylor has submitted a signed statement of expenses incurred each calendar month for activities in connection with his official duties with inadequate or no supporting documentation and no itemization of individual expenses for which reimbursement is claimed.

Taylor found other ways to leach off taxpayers. His wife got a Senate job during the session in his time in office.

Taylor also joined a Republican-led effort to call a constitutional convention to put the states in charge of the federal budget. This was an idea so nutty even Secure Arkansas opposed it. He proposed stand-your-ground-type gun legislation. He was closely aligned with corporate bill writer ALEC. And so on. He’s on the right side in this race.