Politics GOP Nomination Path for Sarah Sanders Clears After Arkansas AG Drops Bid for Governor
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Sarah Sanders is out of competition.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge ended her bid for governor on Tuesday, which made Sanders the lone Republican seeking the GOP nomination.
The former White House press secretary didn't only have the nomination handed to her. She received further backing.
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"She will stand strong against the onslaught of the liberal left's attack on our home state," Rutledge said of Sanders.
Rutledge announced last year she was running for governor. She will now seek the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in Arkansas.
Numerouswill oppose Sanders, who served as former President 's second press secretary, replacing following his resignation. Then-White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci made the announcement. Sanders became the third woman to hold the role, at the time.
She left the position roughly two years later. Sanders then moved to a contributing role on. In 2019, she began the first steps for her campaign to become governor of Arkansas, a position her father, Mike Huckabee, held from 1996 to 2007.
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"It's clear Arkansans wants a leader who will defend our freedom and stand up to the radical left, grow our economy and create jobs, and increase access to quality education and opportunity for a brighter, more prosperous future," Sanders said in a July statement.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Rutledge sounded similar themes on Tuesday.
"At this crossroads in our country's history, now is a time for Christian conservative leaders to unite and fight together against those who wish to destroy the America we know and love," Rutledge said in a statement released by her campaign.
Rutledge was first elected attorney general in 2014 and won re-election in 2018. She badly trailed Sanders in fundraising for governor, with Sanders raising more than $11 million since she launched her bid in January. Rutledge had raised $1.6 million total.
Rutledge had criticized Sanders, who has run primarily on national issues, as not having much accomplishment behind her rhetoric.
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"While my opponent talks about the liberal left in Washington, D.C., she has done nothing to effectively combat them in the last several years," Rutledge told the Associated Press in September.
Rutledge had also run on tax cuts, vowing in July to try to put on next year's ballot a proposal to eliminate the individual income tax.
Despite Rutledge's past criticism, Sanders thanked the attorney general after her exit from the governor's race.
"I want to thank Leslie Rutledge for her leadership," Sanders said in a statement released by her campaign. "I look forward to uniting Arkansans behind my vision to grow our economy and create high-paying jobs, increase access to quality education, and deliver bold, conservative reforms that take our state to the top."
The two were running to succeed Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson, who can't run for re-election due to term limits. Rutledge's exit leaves Sanders as the only announced Republican candidate for governor. Several Democrats are running for the post.
Rutledge joins an already crowded race for lieutenant governor, with sixand one Democrat now running for the post. The state's current lieutenant governor, Republican Tim Griffin, is seeking the GOP nomination for attorney general.
Arkansas attorney general drops bid for governor, says she will work with Sanders
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) is dropping her bid for governor, and instead will run for lieutenant governor.In a statement on Tuesday, Rutledge said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former White House press secretary who announced her bid for the governor's mansion in January, will "stand strong against the onslaught of the liberal left's attack on our home state," The Associated Press reported. "At this crossroads in our country'sIn a statement on Tuesday, Rutledge said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former White House press secretary who announced her bid for the governor's mansion in January, will "stand strong against the onslaught of the liberal left's attack on our home state," The Associated
Griffin dropped out of the governor's race and said he'd instead run for attorney general in February, weeks after Sanders announced her candidacy for governor.
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