Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Henderson released his first campaign ad of the season this morning in advance of the May 22 primary election.


The 30-second spot strikes an upbeat tone and mentions neither incumbent Republican Asa Hutchinson nor Henderson’s primary opponent, Leticia Sanders. Instead, Henderson touts Arkansas’s contributions to the world — Bill Clinton, Maya Angelou, Johnny Cash — and says it’s possible for the state to achieve bigger things.

“As governor, I want the best teachers for every child, make it easier to start a small business and improve rural health care,” he says.


Henderson will face Sanders in a debate this evening hosted by Talk Business and KATV. Though Henderson is considered the favorite in the primary, poll results released Monday by Talk Business / Hendrix College showed him with only a single-digit lead over Sanders among likely Democratic voters in Central Arkansas’s 2nd Congressional District. (The poll didn’t cover the state’s other three congressional districts.) Strikingly, almost 60 percent of those surveyed said they were undecided. Neither candidate has much name recognition, so the release of this new ad may be crucial for Henderson.

With the GOP in firm control of every major political office in the state, it’s extremely likely Hutchinson will win reelection in November. First, though, he faces a primary challenge of his own on May 22 in the form of Jan Morgan, a far-right media personality and gun-rights activist. Polls show Morgan trails Hutchinson by a wide margin.


Early voting for this month’s primary began on Monday and will continue through May 21.

The release from Henderson’s campaign:


Little Rock, AR- Democratic candidate for governor Jared Henderson released his campaign’s first television advertisement Wednesday morning.

“Arkansans have a lot to be proud of, but I think it is important for them to know we have the potential to do even more. I am excited to share my vision for how we reach that potential and to continue taking this campaign to every corner of the state,” Henderson said. “We can make Arkansas the best place in the country to be a public school teacher, have meaningful small business development in every part of our state, and should focus on protecting our rural hospitals and lowering the cost of healthcare services.”

To view the ad, click here.

Jared Henderson is running as a Democratic candidate for governor of Arkansas. He has previously work for NASA, as a business consultant in the private sector, and in the past six years, training and recruiting teachers in Arkansas’s highest-need schools. Jared and his wife, Melanie, live in Little Rock with their 18-month-old son Duke, where they own a small business.