Early scoop: Sarah Huckabee Sanders to announce run for governor of Arkansas

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is set to announce on Monday that she will run for governor in the state of Arkansas in 2022, following in her father Mike Huckabee’s footsteps. She faces a tough primary but is a strong contender in the state.

The run is being lambasted by leftists who were no fans of Huckabee Sanders during her two-year tenure as former President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman. Social media was replete with jokes about her weight and some were comparing her to Satan himself. But Trump’s support is seen as a huge advantage in the Republican stronghold of Arkansas. Many conservatives on Twitter voiced their support for her.

Trump clobbered Hillary Clinton in Arkansas in 2016, winning the state 60.57 percent to 33.65 percent, and surpassed President Joe Biden there last November by a similar margin, 62.40 percent to 34.78 percent. That portends a strong run in the state by Huckabee Sanders.

Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey tweeted the news on Sunday night. He reported that Huckabee Sanders would launch her campaign on Monday, and was “seen as [a] leader in the polls and the president’s preferred candidate in a GOP state.” The tweet ended with a fragmented sentence that was evidently an iPhone error.

Huckabee Sanders will also allegedly make the announcement with a video. She is receiving strong support from conservatives in the state concerning her political move for governor in Arkansas.

The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and the AP’s Jonathan Lemire confirmed Dawsey’s reporting, as did numerous other media and conservative outlets.

Mike Huckabee served as the state’s governor from 1996 to 2007. The current officeholder, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, will be term-limited, vacating his seat.

Huckabee Sanders’ website, www.sarahhuckabeesanders.com, is up and running. A November 2019 Washington Post profile of her noted her possible electoral ambitions and described her as “political royalty in Arkansas.” Mike Huckabee’s stellar reputation in the state is sure to help in her campaign for governor.

Sarah’s run for governor in Arkansas will be one of the first tests of the battle for the future of the Republican Party. It may also be a bad omen for Democrats.

Huckabee Sanders’ combative relationship with the media echoed the president she served, delighting conservative fans and irritating the reporters with whom she fought on a daily basis. Stepping in the political limelight is sure to engender scorn from the media but it will thrill Trump supporters.

She will join a competitive Republican primary race to replace Hutchinson who faces term limits after eight years in office. She will challenge Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin (R) and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R), both of whom have already said they will run. The winner of the Republican primary is likely to be the heavy favorite in the 2022 general election.

While Huckabee Sanders will appeal to the Trump faction, Griffin, a former member of Congress before he returned home, was a more typically establishment Republican. Before running for office, he worked in President George W. Bush’s White House, where he was a protégé of Bush strategist Karl Rove. Arkansas may want a change in conservative ideals and Huckabee Sanders fits the bill.

“She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job,” Trump tweeted when she was leaving the White House. “I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas—she would be fantastic.”


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