Former Trump spokeswoman announces Arkansas governor run

Washington (AFP) –


Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former press secretary for Donald Trump, announced Monday she is running for governor of the state of Arkansas.

Sanders, 38, heads into the 2022 race with strong name recognition thanks largely to her time in the White House, where she developed a strong rapport with Trump and a combative relationship with the press.

Before heading to Washington, Sanders had been campaign manager for her father, Mike Huckabee, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

Huckabee himself had served as Arkansas governor from 1996 to 2007.

The southern state is strongly Republican and Sanders is seen as a favorite to secure the party's nomination for next year's election.

Trump remains popular in Arkansas and Sanders chose to highlight her time with the twice-impeached president during an eight-minute video announcing her run.

"With the radical left now in control of Washington, your governor is your last line of defense," Sanders said in the video posted on Twitter.

"As governor, I will defend your right to be free of socialism and tyranny."

Sanders left the White House in 2019 and, unlike many of Trump's former employees, departed on good terms with the mercurial businessman.

A mother of three, Sanders would sometimes discuss her family and religious faith with journalists.

"I think God calls all of us to fill different roles at different times and I think that he wanted Donald Trump to become president, and that's why he's there," she said in 2019.

In November's presidential elections, Trump won Arkansas with more than 62 percent of the vote.

"She would be fantastic" as Arkansas governor, Trump said on Twitter when Sanders resigned from the White House in June 2019.