Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for Arkansas governor

The ex-White House press secretary and child of Mike Huckabee, who served as Arkansas governor for years, now wants the office he held.

In the announcement of her bid for governor of her home state of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders became the first former Trump White House staff member to seek major office since he lost re-election.

“With the radical left now in charge of Washington, your governor is your last line of defense. In fact, your governor must be on the front line,” said the former press secretary in a nearly eight-minute video posted on Twitter Monday morning. “So today, I announce my candidacy for governor of Arkansas.”

This 2019 photo shows then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talking to reporters after an interview with Fox News outside the West Wing. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Huckabee Sanders, the daughter of Mike Huckabee, who served as governor of the state from 1996 to 2007, has never sought nor held public office before, but she’s been seen as likely to run for the office since she left the Trump administration in 2019.

Arkansas is expected to elect another Republican to its top office after Asa Hutchinson leaves office due to term limits. While Democrats have led the state in the past, it has leaned red for more than a decade; Donald Trump carried it in both 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

Huckabee Sanders is seen as the favorite, particularly as the daughter of a former governor and a Trump supporter. However, she faces a handful of Republican opponents, including Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin and state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

In 2019, as she left the podium in the White House briefing room, then-President Trump tweeted of Huckabee Sanders: “She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job. I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas—she would be fantastic.”

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She wrote a bestselling book after leaving her post, last year’s Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom and the Fight for Our Lives Inside the Trump White House, detailing her time in the role and as a working mother.

In her announcement video, Sanders seems to be taking a firmly conservative stance, slamming “liberals” and “cancel culture.”

“As governor, I will defend our right to be free of socialism and tyranny, your Second Amendment right to keep your family safe, and your freedom of speech and religious liberty,” she says. “Our state needs a leader with the courage to do what’s right, not what’s politically correct or convenient.”

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