LITTLE ROCK, Ark – With polls open for early voting and just two weeks until Election Day, candidates for Arkansas governor are full speed ahead.
Democratic candidate Chris Jones greeted a group of students at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Tuesday morning.
“I think it’s time to elect someone who looks like me, talks like me, and who understands the value of change and community well-being,” UAPB student and Jones supporter Amaya Jordan said.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders was also on the campaign trail Tuesday, making a stop to greet supporters at the Jacksonville Community Center.
“I think she would be good for the state,” Huckabee Sanders supporter Dean Erickson said. “I voted for her dad years ago, and she’s a breath of fresh air.”
The gap between the new candidates is closing, new polls show about 10 percent of voted standing between Sanders and Jones.
“We’re going around the state, taking nothing for granted and keeping our foot on the gas,” Sanders said.
“Just this morning in the coffee line I said, ‘Hey have you decided who you are voting for?’ They said no so I had a conversation, gave my flyer, and got a vote,” said Jones.
With early voting underway, the candidates say it’s time to drive the message home and the top priority for both is education.
“People care about education, and they want their kids to have a solid foundation to start,” said Jones.
“I think right now we’re spending 54 percent of our state budget on education and we’re not getting the results that we need,” said Sanders. “We have to do a better job with the money we’re already spending.”
Sanders says she is appealing to those who want less government involvement.
“That message of empowering Arkansans, and defending freedom is clearly resonating,” Sanders said.
Jones says people want a change.
“We’re seeing people that are actually showing up and saying you know I wasn’t in it before, but you convinced me,” said Jones.
KARK 4 News reached out to Jones, Sanders and Libertarian candidate Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. to have one-on-one interviews to discuss their plans for the state if elected governor.
As of the publishing of this story, Harrington had not yet replied. The interview with Jones can be seen in the video player below. Huckabee Sanders declined the request for an interview.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8.