A new report charting the next step of Sarah Sanders says the outgoing White House press secretary is starting to focus on the possibility of running to become Arkansas’ governor in the next election for the post, which will be held in 2022.
In a report that extensively cited unnamed sources, Politico claimed Sanders had made some contacts that could serve as the foundation for a political career in her home state.
“She’s extremely serious,” a source described as “one of the people who has talked to” Sanders about her plans told Politico.
President Donald Trump added fuel to the fire of speculation Tuesday night when he introduced Sanders at a Florida rally.
Pres calls soon-to-depart Sarah Huckabee Sanders to the stage. Says he hopes she runs for Governor of Arkansas. She says serving as @PressSec has “truly been the honor of a lifetime.” “I’m gonna miss her,” says @POTUS, calling her “a warrior.” pic.twitter.com/BhO5OIPDBo
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 19, 2019
“I have a feeling she’s going to be running for a certain gubernatorial position,” he said of Sanders, who steps down at the end of the month.
Sarah Sanders at a campaign rally 2016 Bentonville Arkansas what a great day it was🇺🇸going to be missed pic.twitter.com/UQrSd0xmSO
— Don Nixon (@u2sooners) June 19, 2019
Trump had earlier tweeted an endorsement of Sanders.
“She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job!” Trump tweeted last week.
“I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!”
….She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2019
Although Politico noted that the contacts Sanders has been making could be chalked up to courtesy calls and nothing more, others said speculation about a future candidacy is everywhere in the state once governed by her father, former Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Huckabee took to Twitter to tease an upcoming interview with his daughter on his Saturday night TV show.
— Huckabee (@HuckabeeOnTBN) June 19, 2019
“It has been the nonstop political conversation since it hit, and will probably be so now going forward,” Bill Vickery, an Arkansas political consultant, told Politico.
“That indicates what sort of big-time player she is in terms of the political landscape if indeed she follows through.”
“She would be formidable if she were to get into the race,” Roby Brock, a veteran Arkansas political reporter, added.
Lots of speculation in Arkansas today but it is interesting to note that these two websites were registered anonymously on the same day just last month in May. https://t.co/aC7DMBBbiJ and https://t.co/E6wnxHCPAZ #arpx #SarahHuckabeeSanders
— Jon Gilmore (@Jon_Gilmore) June 13, 2019
One source quoted by Politico said preliminary connections are already being forged.
“I got a phone call the other day from one of the people who worked on her dad’s presidential campaign as a fundraiser, so I think she’s probably in the very, very early stages of just touching base with … his network,” an unnamed Arkansas Republican consultant told the outlet.
Current Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is barred by term limits from running again.
Doyle Webb, chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party, said that for now, the outgoing press secretary will enjoy a welcome in her home state.
“We are very pleased to have her coming back to Arkansas,” Webb told Politico.
“Arkansans believe she has done a superb job as press secretary for the president, and I wouldn’t want to speculate about what her political future is. I’m fairly certain that [Trump’s] support and any support she’s built on her own would be a considerable [asset].”
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