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story.lead_photo.caption Jan Morgan

A gun-rights advocate and former Texarkana newscaster is challenging Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson for the GOP nomination for governor.

Jan Morgan, who owns the Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range in Hot Springs, Ark., announced plans to run for governor on New Year's Eve. Hutchinson, first elected in 2014, previously announced plans to seek re-election in 2018.

Morgan has criticized Hutchinson as someone who "campaigns like a conservative Republican but governs like a liberal Democrat."

In 2014, Morgan drew national media attention by declaring her gun range a "Muslim Free Zone." She cited safety concerns and alleged Islam is a "theocracy/terrorist organization, not a religion."

Last year, she was an opponent of legislation that Hutchinson signed into law aimed at barring concealed-carry permit holders, even those with up to eight hours of extra training, from Razorback Stadium and other locations hosting college sporting events.

If elected, Morgan would become Arkansas' first female governor.

In 2014, Hutchinson beat businessman Curtis Coleman in the Republican primary before defeating former Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Ross of Little Rock, Libertarian candidate Frank Gilbert of Tull and Green Party candidate Joshua Drake of Hot Springs in the general election. Hutchinson is a former federal homeland security undersecretary, Drug Enforcement Administration director, 3rd District congressman and U.S. attorney.

A Democrat, Jared Henderson, has also announced he's running for governor.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette contributed to this article. 

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