Sarah Sanders Hits Bump in Road for Governor

Ex-WH press secretary, 40, reveals thyroid cancer surgery, says she'll be back soon for Ark. campaign
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 17, 2022 5:30 AM CDT
Sarah Sanders Hits Bump in Road for Governor
Arkansas Republican gubernatorial candidate Sarah Sanders talks to reporters in Little Rock, Ark., on Feb. 22 after filing paperwork to run for governor.   (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo, File)

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who's running for governor in Arkansas, underwent surgery Friday for thyroid cancer. Sanders announced she underwent the surgery after a biopsy earlier this month revealed she had the cancer. Sanders was recovering at an Arkansas hospital on Friday, her campaign said. "Today, I underwent a successful surgery to remove my thyroid and surrounding lymph nodes, and by the grace of God, I am now cancer-free," Sanders said in a statement released by her campaign, per the AP. "I want to thank the Arkansas doctors and nurses for their world-class care, as well as my family and friends for their love, prayers, and support."

Sanders, 40, said she looked forward to returning to the campaign trail soon. Her last public event was at the Arkansas Razorbacks football game on Saturday. Spokesman Judd Deere said Sanders went to two fundraisers and held several meetings at the campaign office Thursday. Sanders, who served as former President Donald Trump's spokeswoman until 2019, is running against Democratic nominee Chris Jones. She's the daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee. "Our hearts go out to you, Sarah," Jones and his wife, Jerrilyn, said in a statement. "Our family is thinking of you and praying for you and your family. It's truly a blessing that you caught this cancer early and were able to receive world-class treatment so quickly."

Sanders, who's shattered fundraising records in the race, is heavily favored in the predominantly Republican state of Arkansas. The state's current Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, is leaving office in January due to term limits. A doctor for Sanders said in a statement that he expected her to be back on her feet within the next 24 hours. Dr. John R. Sims, a surgeon at CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock, said Sanders will need adjuvant treatment with radioactive iodine and continued long-term follow-up care. Sims said Sanders' cancer was a stage 1 papillary thyroid carcinoma, the most common type of thyroid cancer, and that she has an "excellent" prognosis. "I think it's fair to say she's now cancer free, and I don't anticipate any of this slowing her down," Sims said.

(More Sarah Huckabee Sanders stories.)

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