Republican candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders has followed in her father’s footsteps by being elected governor of Arkansas, according to a projection by Decision Desk.
Sanders, 40, who was former President Donald Trump’s press secretary from 2017 to 2019, defeated Democrat nominee Chris Jones to earn the role in which her father, Mike Huckabee, served from 1996-2007. In addition to Trump’s endorsement, Sanders had the backing of outgoing Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) and held a commanding lead in opinion polls throughout the race.
The centerpiece of Sanders’ platform was her “plan for a safer, stronger Arkansas,” which outlined her strategy to lower violent crime. In her proposal, she promised to “never defund the police,” increase prison capacity, and vowed to “push back on the dangerous rhetoric of the radical left.”
Jones opposed Sanders’ anti-crime platform and pushed his own “PB&J” plan, which stood for pre-school, broadband, and jobs.
Sanders also campaigned on a plan to further prioritize education in Arkansas. The proposal, called LEARNS (Literacy, Empowerment, Accountability, Readiness, Networking, and School Safety), aims to increase learning opportunities for kids in the state and “not indoctrinate them with the left’s agenda.”
Sanders had all the advantages in a red-state contest, from name recognition and a family tree to policies that resonated with voters. She served as the 31st White House press secretary under Trump from 2017 to 2019 and worked on the election campaigns of her father, who also ran for president.
Hutchinson was barred from running again because of term limits.