Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Monday morning that she is jumping in the race for governor of Arkansas. Both the primary and general election for the race will be held in 2022.
Sanders is the third candidate to throw her hat in the ring, along with Republican Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin and Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
“I welcome Sarah Sanders to the race for governor,” Lt. Gov. Griffin said. “I look forward to comparing our experience, track record and vision for the future of Arkansas.”
Rutledge also issued a statement welcoming Sanders to the race. “Sarah and her family have been good friends for a long time and will continue to be after this election,” she said.
Arkansas state law limits governors to two terms in office, making current Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson ineligible to seek reelection.
The video of Sanders announcing her decision has garnered over 1.5 million views in just a few hours. She touted her service as White House Press Secretary from 2017 to 2019 early in the video, highlighting a trip she made with former President Donald Trump to surprise troops stationed overseas in Iraq for Christmas.
“America is great because we are free. But today, our freedom and the rule of law are under attack,” Sanders said.
She noted that during her stint working for Trump, she was the first White House press secretary to require Secret Service protection because of a credible violent threat.
Sanders also blasted socialism and censorship in her video address.
“To remain free, we must have law and order and resolve our differences peacefully. The radical left’s solution is to impose government control and censorship from the top down,” she said. “But their socialism and cancel culture will not heal America, it will only further divide and destroy us.”
Speculation about her potential candidacy had been building for months. After her departure as White House press secretary in 2019, Trump tweeted his early endorsement of her bid for governor. “I hope she decides to run for governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!” the president wrote on his since permanently suspended Twitter account.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who worked with Sanders in the Trump administration, immediately tweeted his endorsement of her candidacy.
“I worked with @SarahHuckabee. I’m all in to support her campaign to become next governor of Arkansas. Integrity and hard work. Take it from a Kansan — she will do Arkansans a good turn!” he wrote.
Donald Trump Jr. also threw his support behind Sanders, tweeting, “Let me know how I can help
@SarahHuckabee! You’re going to win and you will be great!”
“Thank you for your friendship and support @DonaldJTrumpJr – we love you and your family!” Sanders replied.
And unsurprisingly, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Sanders’ father, gave his support to his daughter, tweeting, “It’s not about her gender, but a lifetime of preparation. She’s smart & compassionate, but fearless for what’s right.”
On January 22, Sanders recalled the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade in a tweet, writing, “America is great because we stand for life and liberty. On this anniversary of Roe vs Wade let’s recommit ourselves to championing every life as a gift from our Creator. #ProLife”
The primary election to determine the Republican candidate for Arkansas governor will be held on May 24, 2022. So far, no Democrat has declared their intent to enter the race.
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Photo from Leah Millis/REUTERS