Since Sarah Sanders left her post as President Donald Trump’s White House Secretary in June, there have been incessant rumors about her probable run for office in Arkansas, likely for the governorship.
Those rumors were given a boost on Sunday, when Sanders all but confirmed her run to The New York Times.
“There are two types of people who run for office,” the former press secretary told the Times. “People that are called and people that just want to be a senator or governor. I feel like I’ve been called.”
In 2023, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s (R) term will be up, leaving Sanders a lane to run.
“It’s the role I’ve been pushed into,” the mother of three said. “I wouldn’t want to do that if I wasn’t the right person to fit what the state needed at that time.”
Sanders’ potential run in Arkansas, where her father Mike Huckabee served as the state’s Republican governor from 1996 to 2007, has disrupted fellow Arkansas Republicans’ “plans,” the Times notes. “Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin has long been planning a run for governor. And Leslie Rutledge, the attorney general, is also expected to be a contender.”
But that doesn’t seem to be an issue for Sanders.
“You have to make a decision by Labor Day of 2021,” said Bryan Sanders, the former press secretary’s husband, again adding credence to the run. “She has a unique coalition. It’s not just Trump voters. It’s evangelicals because of her dad. It’s women.”
And a potential Sanders campaign is not contingent on the Trump 2020 victory. “If he wins, there’s a solid base and people will come in and be helpful. If he loses, people will be angry and they will want to rally around Trump people,” she said.
Arkansas, for Sanders, is a breath of fresh air.
“I’m just excited to have people clap when I come up to a podium,” Sanders joked at Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the outlet reports. “It’s very different from what I’m used to. All I can say is thank God I’m back in Arkansas.”
Recalling her time in D.C., Sanders told the Times: “I was attacked for everything, not just my performance. I was called a fat soccer mom, my kids were threatened, my life was threatened. It was a lot. I hate harping on it, but to be in the position I’m in and to have Secret Service, that’s not normal.”
“I don’t like being called a liar,” she added. “The other stuff bothered me far less.”
Sanders was indeed constantly a target of harassment. Notably, the former press secretary was run out of a Virginia restaurant in June 2018 for her association with President Trump.
“Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so,” she posted in a tweet last summer following the incident.
The owner of Red Hen, Stephanie Wilkinson, confirmed the confrontation, admitting that Sanders politely left and even offered to pay for the food being prepared.
“I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals,” Wilkinson told The Washington Post.