With the launch of a campaign video and website, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has officially entered the next Arkansas governor’s race. She joins a line-up of Republican figures vying for the state’s executive seat once Gov. Asa Hutchinson term-limits out of office on Jan. 1, 2023.
On Monday, Jan. 25, Sanders released an email to supporters and a video announcing her candidacy for the governor’s office. Multiple media outlets, including Arkansas Money & Politics, had reported on Sunday that Sanders planned to make the announcement this week.
In the video, Sanders highlighted her tenure as the White House press secretary and her connection to former President Donald Trump. This strategy has been widely expected – Trump carried Arkansas with 62.4 percent of the vote in the 2020 election. This was an increase over the 2016 election when Trump won 60.6 percent of the state’s vote.
Sanders declared herself a “law and order” candidate, emphasizing the military and law enforcement throughout the video. At the beginning of the video, she related an anecdote of visiting Iraq in 2018 with Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump, emphasizing the support that Trump – and herself – have received from the military.
According to Sanders, a “law and order”-focused governor is necessary to oppose the “radical left” in Washington, D.C. – referring the to the incoming Biden administration and the narrow Democratic majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. She repeatedly said that she would defend Constitutionally-protected freedoms, making reference to socialism and tyranny.
“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. But their socialism and cancel culture will not heal America. It will only further divide and destroy,” she said.
Sanders specifically mentioned that she would prohibit the creation of sanctuary cities in Arkansas, oppose the Green New Deal, reduce government size, lower income taxes, and increase school choice.
She has been tipped to throw her hat in the ring since leaving the White House 2019. Trump tweeted an endorsement for Sanders to run for governor after she departed the White House.
“She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job,” Trump tweeted. “I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas — she would be fantastic.”
Already, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge have announced their intentions to run for governor in 2022.
If elected, she would be the first female to hold the governor’s office. She is the daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee.