Former Trump White House press secretary Sarah Sanders coasted to victory in Tuesday’s Republican primary election for governor in Arkansas.
Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, was backed by former President Donald Trump and easily defeated radio host Doc Washburn with 82.2% to his 17.8% with the race called based on 34% of precincts reporting.
Washburn had mounted a long-shot bid to upset Sanders, who spent 23 months as Trump’s chief spokesperson between 2017 and 2019, but couldn’t overcome the wide gap in polling and fundraising.
Sanders crisscrossed the state and ran a campaign touting conservative values focusing on education, economic development and rebuilding the state’s workforce and infrastructure.
“We have to do a better job and that starts at the basic level — making sure we’re actually educating, not indoctrinating our kids, we are empowering parents, not government bureaucrats, and that we are preparing kids for the workforce — not a lifetime of government dependency,” she told KATV over the weekend.
Sanders is the favorite to win the November election and succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson. She will likely will match up against Democrat Chris Jones, a nuclear engineer and minister.