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Arkansas: Is Asa Hutchinson eligible to run for governor?

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports: The Arkansas Constitution requires governors to be residents of Arkansas for seven years, and Asa Hutchinson only recently moved back here after living out of state for more than three years.

But he believes there’s no question that he meets the constitutional residency requirement in his race for the Republican Party nomination for governor. "I could meet the residency requirement if it said 50 years," Hutchinson said.

Article 6, Section 5, of the Arkansas Constitution states that "no person shall be eligible to the office of Governor except a citizen of the United States who shall have attained the age of thirty years, and shall have been seven years a resident of this State."

It doesn’t say whether the seven years must be immediately before the election. Apparently no court or attorney general’s opinion has ever interpreted the seven years requirement. -- NWAnews.com :: Northwest Arkansas' News Source

While there may not have been a court case about the Arkansas requirement, there has been litigation about the similar provision in the Alabama Constitution. A born-and-bred Alabamian moved back to state and decided to run for the State Senate a couple of years later. The Alabama Supreme Court held that the Democratic Party [I was general counsel for the Party at the time] was correct in ruling that she did not meet the constitutional requirements. It held that one cannot tack on the earlier residency with the later period to meet the five-year requirement.