Sarah Huckabee Sanders Wins Arkansas GOP Gubernatorial Nomination
Sarah Huckabee Sanders cruised to victory in the Republican primary for Arkansas governor and is on pace to win the office her father, Mike Huckabee, held from 1996-2007.
(Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former Trump administration spokeswoman and daughter of a three-term Arkansas governor, won the state GOP nomination Tuesday for the office her father once held.

Sanders, 39, bested former talk radio host and podcaster Doc Washburn in a landslide, netting over 83% of the vote. She will run against nuclear engineer and minister Chris Jones, who won the Democratic nomination for governor. During her victory speech Tuesday night, Sanders invoked the fatal shooting of at least 19 children inside a Texas elementary school as a “stark and humbling reminder of just how precious life is.”

“Every single life has value and the most vulnerable among us should be those that we are fighting for and protecting the most,” Sanders said from Little Rock. “I can assure you that in my administration, that’s exactly what we will do. We will make sure that when a kid is in the womb, they’re as safe as they are in the classroom, the workplace, the nursing home, because every stage of life has value.”

Sanders, a married mother of three, smashed state fundraising records and blitzed Arkansas with TV ads blasting President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The primary was never in doubt, and she has a huge advantage in the general election in a state  that hasn’t elected a Democrat governor since 2010.

Her father, Mike Huckabee, held the Natural State’s highest office from 1996-2007. Current Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican who took office in 2015, was barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

Sanders served as former President Trump’s White House press secretary until June 2019, after taking over as deputy White House press secretary in July 2017, after Sean Spicer left the administration.

During her two-year stint in the White House, Sanders was scorned by the media, mocked by Hollywood, and even chased out of a Virginia restaurant just because she worked in the administration. But she won the respect and loyalty of her boss, who made her his earliest post-presidency endorsement.

“Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a warrior who will always fight for the people of Arkansas and do what is right, not what is politically correct,” Trump said less than a week after leaving office. “Sarah is strong on Borders, tough on Crime, and fully supports the Second Amendment and our great law enforcement officers,” Trump wrote in a statement. “She loves our Military and Veterans – and her home state of Arkansas. Sarah will be a GREAT governor and she has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

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