Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders formally entered the governor’s race in Arkansas and it wasn’t long before she received the full support and endorsement of her former boss, former President Donald Trump.
Only hours after Sanders had announced her candidacy for the governor’s office, Trump issued a statement touting her as a “warrior” who would fight hard on behalf of Arkansans, The Hill reported.
Sanders highlighted the statement of support she had received from Trump in a tweet on Monday night.
The former press secretary wrote: “Thank you President Trump for your endorsement and for always believing in me. As governor I will defend our freedom and lead with heart.”
Thank you President Trump for your endorsement and for always believing in me. As governor I will defend our freedom and lead with heart pic.twitter.com/QFtyuNpSm1
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders (@SarahHuckabee) January 26, 2021
In his statement of endorsement, Trump, who had previously encouraged her to run for office, said, “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.”
“Sarah is strong on borders, tough on crime and fully supports the second amendment and our great law enforcement officers,” the former president added. “She loves our military and veterans — and her home state of Arkansas. She will be a GREAT Governor and she has my complete and total endorsement.”
Welcome to the race
Local ABC Little Rock affiliate KATV reported that Sanders, the daughter of former Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, was immediately considered to be a strong contender to win the primary for her party’s nomination to run to replace current term-limited Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
However, her run to the governor’s mansion won’t be a cakewalk, as there are already two formidable candidates who are already in the race.
The first is Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, a popular former congressman and staunch conservative, as well as Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, both of whom took shots at Sanders over her inexperience while welcoming her to the contest.
Rutledge remarked that the state needed a new leader with a “proven record and not merely rhetoric,” while Griffin, taking note of certain topics Sanders had mentioned, suggested that Sanders “needs to catch up on what’s been going on in Arkansas.”
However, local business and politics commentator Roby Brock deemed Sanders “formidable” in her own right as she is “well-known” in the state. “She’s worked for Sen. Tom Cotton and Sen. John Boozman, so she’s got a lot of political connections in addition to her father’s political legacy in the state of Arkansas. And, obviously, the Trump ties. Because Trump is still popular here in Arkansas,” he said.