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Candidates for Arkansas Attorney General take center stage in Conway



Conway, Arkansas – On Wednesday, Arkansas PBS aired a debate featuring the contenders for attorney general of Arkansas.

Tim Griffin, a Republican and the current lieutenant governor, and Jesse Gibson, a Democrat, discussed a wide range of subjects, including abortion, marijuana use for recreational purposes, and care for transgender people—important legal problems for whoever wins the election.

Gibson attributed Griffin’s inaction in preventing the legislature of Arkansas from adopting a ban on abortion to his lack of action.

“He didn’t do anything to stop it,” Gibson said. “Only now, when there may be political repercussions, has he come out against it.”

Griffin retaliated by asserting that it is not his responsibility as Lieutenant Governor to intervene, but he did add that he occasionally supports exceptions.

“I simply said, as Attorney General, I will defend whatever laws I have to defend,” Griffin said. “My personal preference in this area is an exception for rape and incest.”

The contenders also discussed the importance of legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Griffin declared that he categorically opposes the proposal and thinks it will have a negative impact.

“This is ridiculous,” he said. “To say that we’re going to get more money for police, that’s like saying I’m gonna make, I’m gonna build more hospitals so I can make more people sick.”

Gibson supported legalizing marijuana for recreational use and claimed that it would benefit the state’s economy.

“The train may not have left the station, but they’re piling the coal on and the steams pumping,” Gibson said.

Gender-affirming care was the final issue since the state’s law outlawing it is currently the subject of federal litigation.

Gibson emphasized the manner in which this treatment may benefit transgender people and their families.

“Talking to these families, sometimes this has been lifesaving,” he said. “The suicide rate among transgender is astronomical.”

Griffin, however, emphasized the law as a whole and concentrated on the processes and what they might involve.

“What it says is, we’ve chosen to protect minors from life-altering, irreversible surgery, and medical treatment,” Griffin said.

The debate came to a close with pitches from both candidates. The 8th of November is election day.

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