OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
When former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders decided to run for governor of Arkansas, she said she would be a compassionate leader who worked to improve the state and a fighter who pushes back against “the radical left” in Washington, D.C.
Among other reasons, Sanders says she is running for governor “because I am tired of watching Arkansas compete at the bottom.”
“I am tired of being 47th, and 48th and 49th when I know that we have the capacity and the potential to be first or second, so we need real leadership to take us there,” she said during a stop on her Freedom Tour last year.
“We have people in Washington in leadership, the radical left, that are not OK just changing policy. They want to fundamentally change who we are as a country, and we cannot sit back and do nothing and allow that to happen,” she added.
About fighting the DC swamp she said, “I have been doing it for the last four years and winning.”
I'm in —> https://t.co/8bmfl3ZPgp
Watch ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/khDPEk0orU
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) January 25, 2021
Arkansas Online reported:
Republican Asa Hutchinson has served as governor since 2015. He is term limited and barred from running for reelection.
Prior to Sanders’ remarks, her father, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, said his daughter has always been a leader and has genuine, authentic core convictions in her soul. He said she doesn’t need to take a poll to decide what she believes to make some people happy.
“Our state will do very well when Sarah Huckabee Sanders becomes the next governor of Arkansas,” Huckabee said.
In fact, he said he believes she will be the best governor Arkansas has ever had.
After her remarks, Sanders met with people in the crowd who wanted to talk to her, so she wasn’t available to respond to reporters’ questions within 30 minutes of her speech.
In mid-May, Sanders tweeted that she wants to eventually get rid of the state’s individual income tax.
Sanders tweeted that “At a time DC Democrats are raising taxes and paying workers to stay home, we need to begin phasing out the state income tax. When I’m governor I will lead the effort to reward work, not penalize it.”
And now Sanders has won the Republican primary for governor of Arkansas.
BREAKING: Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be the GOP nominee for Arkansas Governor. pic.twitter.com/yP7F3TKnY5
— Election Wizard 🇺🇸 (@ElectionWiz) May 25, 2022
In a statement following her vote on Tuesday, Sanders criticized President Joe Biden.
“I think paying attention to the bad policies and the failures of the Biden administration and the impact that they have on our state is critically important,” Sanders proclaimed. “If they continue to fail the way that they have and they continue to, I think, put states in a difficult position, then absolutely, we’re going to call them out and we’re going to continue to talk about that.”
The odds are good that Sanders will win the general election in November and become Arkansas’ next governor.
“The only thing that could stop Sarah Sanders from being governor of Arkansas is a Martian invasion,” Republican strategist Bill Vickery told reporters after detailing Sanders’ campaign’s success.
Vickery emphasized Sanders’ “core connection to voters” because her public profile dates back to her adolescence.
Mike Huckabee, her father, previously served as Arkansas’ governor and remains a leading figure in conservative media.
“She sort of grew up in front of everyone in Arkansas. Then as the spokesman for President Trump,” Vickery continued, “the vast majority of Arkansas voters, who are Republican, saw what they felt like was a significant mistreatment of her from the national press corps, and pop culture figures — they saw her withstand that.”
Additionally, President Trump endorsed Sanders.
Previously, Trump described her as a “warrior who will always fight for the people of Arkansas and do what is right, not what is politically correct.”
Asa Hutchinson, who is leaving his position as governor of Arkansas, also endorsed Sanders.
According to Hutchinson: “I’ve known Sarah Huckabee Sanders most of her life and know firsthand her love for our state and her heart for public service. Sarah has earned the Republican nomination and I’m delighted today to endorse her for Governor. The state of Arkansas will be in good hands with Sarah as Governor, and she has my full support.”
Sanders was grateful for the support, stating:
“I am honored to have the endorsement and full support of Governor Hutchinson. I am thankful for his leadership in lowering taxes and laying the foundation for future growth and prosperity. As governor, I will continue his work to lower and phase out the state income tax and unleash bold, conservative reforms that will create opportunity for all Arkansans.”
During her campaign, Sanders traveled across the state advocating conservative values emphasizing education, economic advancement, and improving the state’s labor force and public works.
“We have to do a better job and that starts at the basic level — making sure we’re actually educating, not indoctrinating our kids, we are empowering parents, not government bureaucrats, and that we are preparing kids for the workforce — not a lifetime of government dependency,” she told local news station KATV on the final weekend of the primary.