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Arkansas Lieutenant Governor candidates take the stage to debate ahead of general elections



Conway, Arkansas – Tuesday was the second day of debates for the November ballot candidates in Arkansas. The day began with the contenders for lieutenant governor.

At the Arkansas PBS-sponsored event in Conway, Democrats Kelly Krout, Libertarian Frank Gilbert, and Republicans Leslie Rutledge discussed a range of issues, including education, credentials, and energy policy.

Rutledge said she hopes her eight years as attorney general will be helpful in her new role as lieutenant governor. If she were to win, one of her intentions would be to treat the post as a full-time job and hire the appropriate staff.

“We’re going to use that same microphone in the lieutenant governor’s office to be the economic ambassador,” Rutledge said. “To grow more jobs here in the Natural State.”

With a background in law enforcement and local administration, the libertarian candidate Gilbert claimed he would take the opposite tack and that the office of lieutenant governor is ultimately pointless. He pledged that if he were to win the job, he would endeavor to reduce its size and operational scope.

“To allow our motto ‘The people rule’ to actually be taken seriously for a change,” Gilbert said of his intention with the office. “I’d work on issues like that and save the state some money.”

Social worker and Democratic candidate Krout said she thinks her profession has improved her listening skills. She claimed that by accepting the position, she would have the opportunity to advocate for causes loudly.

“I am really looking forward to just being able to be a voice for Arkansans,” Krout said. “I’m not looking to make this position any more complicated than it already is.”

These week-long debates are taking place. Later on Tuesday, the contenders for secretary of state squared off, and the attorney general debate is set at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

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