LITTLE ROCK — A former member of Mike Huckabee’s legal staff announced Monday she will seek the Republican nomination for attorney general next year.
Leslie Rutledge served as deputy counsel for Huckabee when he was Arkansas governor and as legal counsel for his 2008 presidential campaign. She has also served as legal counsel for the Republican National Committee.
Rutledge graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and received her law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She said she currently practices law with The Rutledge Firm in Little Rock.
"Arkansas deserves to be free from those who seek to rip us off, abuse seniors, harm consumers and from an overreaching federal government," Rutledge said in a news release. "Without freedom we can’t have opportunity. If elected as attorney general, I will be vigilant in protecting that freedom to ensure our opportunity."
Among the key issues for her campaign, Rutledge said, would be protecting Arkansas seniors, cracking down on Internet predators, standing up to federal overreach, protecting consumers, protecting the sanctity of life and preserving Second Amendment rights.
She said she was making the announcement while on a five-city tour with stops in her hometown of Batesville as well as Little Rock, Springdale, Jonesboro and Texarkana.
Her release included endorsements from Huckabee, who said she would "stand up to protect our liberties and freedoms from all sides," and former 3rd District Congressman John Paul Hammerschmidt, who called her "a lifelong conservative Republican who will represent our Arkansas values."
Republican David Sterling has also announced his intention to run for attorney general. No Democrat has yet announced as a candidate.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, a Democrat, is prohibited by term limits from seeking a third term.