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Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he's running for president

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Sunday said he will seek the Republican nomination for president. 

Hutchinson told "ABC This Week" that a formal announcement would follow later in April, but "I've made my decision."

"And the reason, as I've traveled the country for six months, I hear people talk about the leadership of our country, and I'm convinced that people want leaders that appeal to the best of America, and not simply appeal to our worst instincts," Hutchinson said. 

He joins former President Donald Trump, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy in the race. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, considered one of the better-known potential challengers, has not yet made a formal announcement. 

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., June 22, 2021. JOSHUA ROBERTS / REUTERS

Hutchinson left office in January after serving two terms as governor of Arkansas and was succeeded by former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is also the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Hutchinson, a former congressman, also served as one of the House impeachment managers for President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial.

Hutchinson has previously said he opposed a third bid by Trump for the White House, saying in December that it would be the "worst scenario" if Trump received the Republican nomination and faced President Joe Biden in 2024.

He has ramped up that rhetoric in recent weeks amid the Manhattan district attorney's investigation of Trump. A grand jury in New York voted last week to indict the former president. The charge or charges have not been disclosed, but a person familiar with the matter told CBS News on Saturday that Trump is being charged with falsifying business records in the first degree, a felony in the state of New York.  

Hutchinson said Sunday that the indictment "adds to the unpredictability of it." He called it a "sad day for America that we have a former president that's indicted" and called it a "great distraction." 

"And so we've got to press on, and the American people are gonna have to separate what the ideas are for our future, gonna talk about border security and the economy," Hutchinson said. "We have to talk about those. We have to talk about the leadership of America in the world, whenever you have Russia and China taking advantage of any weakness that America shows. So, we can't be sidetracked for a year and a half."

Trump can still run for president even after being charged, and his campaign said on Saturday that it had raised over $4 million in the 24 hours after he was indicted. 

If he were to win the presidency, Hutchinson would be the second Arkansas governor to hold the nation's top office. Clinton served as governor of Arkansas for nearly 12 years before his successful presidential bid in 1992. 

Fin Gómez contributed to this report. 

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