(CNN) — Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson formally kicked off his presidential campaign on Wednesday with a speech in Bentonville, Arkansas, seeking to distinguish himself from the GOP field with his long career in government and “commonsense conservatism.”
“Today, I am announcing that I am a candidate for president of the United States,” Hutchinson said. “In this campaign for president, I stand alone in terms of my experience, record and leadership.”
In his speech, Hutchinson touched upon plans to address the economy, crime, and border security — issues that fit with his public service record. But the former governor, who’s working to build national name recognition, also highlighted his personal story of growing up on a farm in a small town.
Bentonville is where Hutchinson announced his first run for public office and part of the district he used to represent when he was in the US House of Representatives.
Hutchinson announced his bid for the GOP presidential nomination during an interview with ABC News earlier this month.
The former governor acknowledged on CNN earlier this month that “perhaps I’m not as exciting as some candidates that are out there. I don’t throw bombs and torches all the time.”
“But I am consistent, I have a track record that’s important. And I have a vision for America, for border security, for the fentanyl crisis — and so things that we can bring people together, I think that’s a great characteristic and history that I bring,” he added.
Core to Hutchinson’s argument for election is he has the credentials and temperament to win a general election and that if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, the former president can’t appeal to enough voters to beat President Joe Biden.
Hutchinson has spent much of his career in public service. The former Arkansas governor served as federal prosecutor, in the House of Representatives and as the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration during the Bush administration.
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