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Meet the Democratic candidates competing to be the next Arkansas governor

We spoke with the Democratic candidates vying for their chance to run for Arkansas Governor.

ARKANSAS, USA — Arkansas' Primary Election is coming up and voters will decide on a number of races, including the Republican and Democratic nominations for governor.

Our political expert Roby Brock with Talk Business and Politics says it’s pretty cut and dry between Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Doc Washburn.

"She’s a little over 72% in our recent Talk Business and Politics Hendrix College Poll," Brock said. "Her challenger Doc Washburn has about 16.5%."

What’s not so cut and dry is the race for the Democratic nomination. There are five candidates on the Democratic primary ticket.

Jay Martin spent 2003 to 2006 in the State House and was elected majority leader during that time. He says while economic development is the number one issue on his agenda, the state must address the mental health crisis.

"I want community mental and physical health to be emphasized and funded," Martin said. "We tend to put people in institutions and people can go to work and still receive the help they need and even have health checkups for mental health."

James Russell has worked in the healthcare field for several years. He says what separates him from the field is his not being afraid to be outspoken on the issue.

"I know a lot of people try to play it safe as far as hedging their bets and not wanting to risk alienating voters or anything. I think that’s a mistake," Russell said.

Chris Jones has separated himself from the field, polling very high among Democratic voters, according to Talk Business and Politics. He’s the only Democrat who can take on the likely Republican nominee Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

"You need someone who is positioned to be able to put up a really good contrast," Jones said. "You need someone who understands the challenges and you need someone who can actually tap into a national network while knowing how to solve problems on the ground in Arkansas for Arkansans and I’m that candidate."

Anthony Bland is a former businessman and current educator in Little Rock. He says his campaign itself sets him apart.

"There is nobody paying me to run for office. I’m not fudging numbers I’m not doing anything to make myself look anything other than the truth," Bland said. "I’m an everyday person running to be a voice for an everyday person. I can actually relate to them and I feel like that’s what Arkansans are looking for."

Supha Xayprasith Mays is a former Walmart executive. In her campaign, she has referred to Arkansans as shareholders and says she’ll be the most transparent governor to the shareholders.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Doc Washburn are the candidates vying for the Republican nomination for governor. There are also five write-in candidates.

RELATED: 2 Arkansas counties list wrong first name for Senate hopeful

RELATED: Poll: Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Chris Jones lead in gubernatorial primaries

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