Dustin McDaniel Tries to Reset with Apology (AP Analysis)

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 1:59 pm  

Dustin McDaniel's news conference last week kicked off a series of public appearances he's made in recent days as he tries to put the focus back on policy and his bid for the state's top office.

For now, McDaniel won't have to worry about rivals targeting him for the relationship or challenging his statement that there are no surprises in the wings. Republican Asa Hutchinson, the only other announced candidate in the 2014 governor's race, said he doesn't view The relationship as an issue in the race.

"I would instruct anyone who worked on our campaign that would not be an issue in the campaign," Hutchinson said. "We're focusing on economic development, improving education and other important issues for the state."

That's where McDaniel would like to keep the focus too. Though he never mentioned his 2014 bid, his speech to a Forrest City audience last week hinted at a likely campaign theme of calling for more investments in education and economic development to help the state outpace its neighbors.

"We stand at the crossroads between opportunity and responsibility," McDaniel said.

It's not that different from the crossroads where McDaniel stands right now.

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