Little Rock, Ark. ( Associated Press) — During her two years as a spokeswoman for President Donald Trump, Sarah Sanders used the White House briefing room to target Democrats on issues like immigration and crime. He is set to win the Republican nomination for governor of Arkansas on Tuesday after employing the same strategy.
Sanders has broken fundraising records and covered his home state with ads that focus on President Joe Biden, national media and other Trump targets instead of his opponents for the state’s top office. that approach, Trump’s support in this conservative state has made him the overwhelming favorite to win the GOP nomination for the office his father, former Governor Mike Huckabee, held for a decade.
“As governor, I would say no to Biden and the radical leftist agenda,” Sanders says in one of her TV commercials.
Sanders faces former talk radio host Doc Washburne, who is making a tall bid against Sanders in the primary. The frontrunner in the Democratic primary for governor is Chris Jones.A nuclear engineer and ordained minister, who began his campaign last year with a video that quickly went viral and contradicted Sanders’ rhetoric.
“I was not born into politics,” Jones said in a recent TV commercial. “My parents raised me to care about people.”
Jones faced teacher Anthony Bland, former state Representative Jay Martin, mental health clinic operator James “Russ” Russell and small business owner Supa Zyprasith-Mays in Tuesday’s primary.
If neither of the Democrats wins a majority, the top two will face each other in the June 21 primary runoff.
The candidate is running to succeed Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson, who has been barred from seeking re-election due to term limits and is considering running for president in 2024. Hutchinson backed Sanders’ bid for the nomination after two of his main rivals, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie RutledgeLeft to run for other offices.
Trump publicly encouraged Sanders to run for governor when he left the White House in 2019 to return to his home state.
Sanders was already well-known in Arkansas politics when she appeared in commercials for her father’s campaigns. He managed the 2010 election of Sen. John Boozman and served as an advisor to Sen. Tom Cotton in 2014. She has appeared in commercials supporting Boozeman’s re-election bid while trying to meet the challenges in Tuesday’s primary.
During Sanders’ nearly two-year tenure in the White House, he withdrew daily televised briefings after repeatedly flirting with reporters who had questioned him aggressively. He faced questions about his credibility, especially after Special Counsel Robert Mueller reported that Sanders admitted to making unsubstantiated claims to reporters about the response of FBI agents to the firing of Director James Comey. But he also earned the respect of journalists by working behind the scenes to develop relationships with the media.
Sanders has promised to eliminate state income tax, though he has declined to give a timeline for doing so or provide details on how to pay for the loss in revenue.
Before jumping into the gubernatorial race, Jones headed the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, a nonprofit that helps entrepreneurs. He has dubbed his platform “PB&J,” which he says stands for Preschool, Broadband and Jobs.
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