Sarah Huckabee Sanders Wins Her Race, Addresses Shooting

Says that 'when a kid is in the womb, (they should be) as safe as they are in the classroom'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 24, 2022 11:39 PM CDT
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Is the GOP Nominee for Arkansas Governor
Arkansas Republican Gubernatorial candidate Sarah Sanders talks to reporters at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. on Feb. 22, 2022 after filing paperwork to run for governor.   (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)

(Newser) – Sarah Sanders won the Republican nomination for governor in Arkansas on Tuesday, putting her on a clear path to lead a solidly red state where former President Trump’s popularity has overshadowed questions about his administration's credibility that she faced during her time as White House press secretary. Sanders won the GOP primary for the office her dad, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, held for a decade after a race where she shattered fundraising records. Sanders bombarded the state’s airwaves with TV ads invoking the former president and going after his favorite targets, including President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Sanders headed into the primary virtually assured of the nomination, and she remains a heavy favorite in the general election in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat governor since 2010. Nuclear engineer and ordained minister Chris Jones won the Democratic nomination in Tuesday's primary, the AP reports.

During her victory speech Tuesday, Sanders didn't mention Trump or Biden and invoked the shooting of at least 19 children at a Texas elementary school as a "stark and humbling reminder of just how precious life is." "Every single life has value and the most vulnerable among us should be those that we are fighting for and protecting the most," Sanders said. "I can assure you that in my administration, that's exactly what we will do. We will make sure that when a kid is in the womb, they're as safe as they are in the classroom, the workplace, the nursing home, because every stage of life has value." Sanders joked Tuesday night about her shift from press secretary to nominee. "When I worked at the White House, nobody ever cheered when I went up to the podium," she said. "This is different, but I like it a whole lot better."

Sanders in her ads embraced Trump’s endorsement of her as well as his rhetoric, promising to use the state’s top office to fight Biden and the "radical left," something that’s awfully hard to find in a state where no Democrat holds statewide or federal office. She also invoked one of Trump’s favorite targets, the national news media. "As White House press secretary, I never had to worry about the far left and their allies at CNN or the New York Times defining me," Sanders says in one TV spot. "Because I have a creator who's already done that." But she danced more delicately around some of Trump’s biggest grievances, especially his lies that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him. Sanders in interviews has stopped short of calling the presidential election stolen, unlike Trump-endorsed candidates in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and elsewhere, who have run on his false claims. Sanders said she thinks Trump has the right to call the election stolen, though she said she can't say how much fraud there was in 2020. (Read more Sarah Huckabee Sanders stories.)

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