Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor

Former White House press secretary Sarah HuckabeeSarah SandersTrump likely to form new super PAC We knew media would coddle Biden — here's why it's much worse House Republican condemns anti-Trump celebrities during impeachment hearing MORE Sanders will announce Monday that she will run for governor of Arkansas in what will amount to one of the first tests of the battle for the future of the Republican Party.

The Washington Post first reported Sanders’s plans. A top Republican who will attend her announcement on Monday confirmed her plans to The Hill. 

Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), served almost two years as former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE’s press secretary. Her combative relationship with the media echoed the president she served, delighting conservative fans and irritating the reporters with whom she sparred.


Sanders plans to formally announce her candidacy with a video published at 8 a.m. Monday, according to the source familiar with her plans.

She will join a competitive Republican primary race to replace Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonWhy do we still punish crack and powder cocaine offenses differently? Trump to attend private RNC donor retreat The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Tanden's odds plummet to lead OMB MORE (R), who faces term limits after eight years in office. She will challenge Lt. Gov. Tim GriffinJohn (Tim) Timothy GriffinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by TikTok - Senate trial will have drama, but no surprise ending Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin drops gubernatorial campaign, to run for attorney general Sarah Huckabee Sanders's run for governor an early test for Trump allies MORE (R) and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R), both of whom have already said they will run.

Sanders is likely to try to corner the Trump base in an increasingly conservative state. Griffin, a former member of Congress before he returned home, is a more typically establishment Republican; before running for office, he worked in former President George W. Bush’s White House, where he was a protege of Bush strategist Karl RoveKarl Christian RoveThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers face Capitol threat as senators line up votes for relief bill The Memo: Is Trump mounting a comeback — or finally fading? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Ahead: One-shot vax, easing restrictions, fiscal help MORE

The winner of the Republican primary is likely to be the heavy favorite in the 2022 general election. Though Arkansas has a long history of electing Democratic governors — Hutchinson and Mike Huckabee are the only two Republicans to serve for eight years in state history — the state has become increasingly red in recent years.  

Trump won 62 percent of the vote in Arkansas in 2020, and Hutchinson won reelection to his second term with 65 percent of the vote in 2018.