Top GOP rival drops Arkansas gubernatorial bid weeks after Sanders announces candidacy

Ex-White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has remained popular among supporters of former President Donald Trump and hopes to translate that goodwill into a successful gubernatorial bid in her home state of Arkansas next year.

Just weeks after confirming her plans to throw her hat in the ring, another top contender announced that he will be suspending his plans to pursue the governorship.

“Bold, conservative leadership”

After preparing for nearly a year to make a run for the governor’s mansion, Fox News reported that GOP Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin is dropping his bid.

Sanders, whose father, Mike Huckabee, held the position of Arkansas governor for 11 years, still carries significant clout in the overwhelmingly Republican state.

Of course, Griffin is also widely recognized in GOP circles throughout the state, but he seemed to understand that he fell behind Sanders in the pecking order following her campaign announcement last month.

“Since announcing my campaign for governor last year, I’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible support I have received from all corners of the state,” Griffin explained in a statement. “While I believe Arkansans are ready for my message of bold, conservative leadership, my conversations with friends and supporters have persuaded me that at this time, I can do more for Arkansas in a different capacity.”

Expounding on those plans, he said that he would be focusing instead on his candidacy to become the state’s attorney general.

“Fight the liberal agenda”

His statement asserted that Arkansas is in need of someone in that position who will support law enforcement and “fight the liberal agenda” emanating from the Biden administration.

For her part, Sanders praised Griffin’s decision in a tweet, signaling that she is ready and willing to work alongside him to pursue a similar agenda.

“Tim Griffin has been a strong voice for Arkansas and I look forward to working with him to unite our party and make our state better,” she tweeted on Monday. “I wish Tim and his family the very best.”

Trump himself has weighed in on the development, as reported by Fox News.

The former president endorsed his one-time spokeswoman, writing: “Sarah is strong on Borders, tough on Crime, and fully supports the Second Amendment and our great law enforcement officers. Sarah will be a GREAT Governor, and she has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

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