Former President Donald Trump ducked out of the first GOP debate and intends to skip the second debate but he maintains a 40-point lead over his closest rival despite being accused of 91 counts in four separate criminal indictments.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nimarata Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, stock swindler Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott all have a spot in the debate Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, but the announcement.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) announced that the seven GOP candidates qualified for the second Republican primary debate but the GOP is excluding former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who debated at the first GOP session in August and is one of Trump’s most ardent critics.
Hutchinson’s career in public service began when President Ronald Reagan appointed him as the youngest U.S. Attorney in the nation for the Western District of Arkansas. In 1996, he won the first of three consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.
During his third term in Congress, President George W. Bush appointed Governor Hutchinson to serve as Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration and later as the nation’s first Undersecretary of Homeland Security for Border Protection.
January 10, 2023, marked the end of Hutchinson’s second term as governor. He is a former chairman of the National Governors Association; co-chairman of the Council of Governors; and chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), Southern States Energy Board (SSEB), and the Southern Regional Education Board.
Hutchinson said he failed to attain the polling threshold established by the RNC to qualify for the Wednesday debate, which mandated that each candidate poll at at least 3% in two national polls or one national and one early state poll.
“Despite falling short of the RNC’s polling requirement for inclusion in the second Presidential Primary Debate, I will continue our campaign to bring out the best of America with events scheduled in Iowa, New Hampshire, and across the country in the next several weeks,” Hutchinson said in a statement.
The former Arkansas governor said he aims to up his polling numbers to 4% in one of the four early states by Thanksgiving, and said he would continue to campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire in the coming weeks.