Arkansas governor backs Sarah Huckabee Sanders to replace him

Arkansas Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonGOP governors press Biden administration for control of infrastructure implementation Sarah Huckabee Sanders raises .8M since launch of Arkansas governor campaign Wisconsin GOP bill would count prior COVID-19 infection as immunity MORE (R) on Friday endorsed former White House press secretary Sarah HuckabeeSarah SandersHow Biden should sell his infrastructure bill Trump expected to resume rallies in June Andrew Giuliani planning run for New York governor MORE Sanders as his successor, saying that his state “will be in good hands” under her leadership.

“I’ve known Sarah Huckabee Sanders most of her life and know firsthand her love for our state and her heart for public service,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “Sarah has earned the Republican nomination and I’m delighted today to endorse her for Governor.”

Hutchinson’s endorsement came two days after Sanders’s only primary opponent, state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, dropped out of the race, clearing the path for Sanders to clinch the GOP nomination. Rutledge endorsed Sanders after ending her own campaign.

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Hutchinson, who was first elected governor in 2014, is term limited and cannot seek reelection in 2022.

The current Arkansas governor is the latest high-profile Republican to publicly back Sanders’s campaign. Earlier this week, the state’s two GOP senators, Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion Senate's antitrust bill would raise consumer prices and lower our competitiveness Sinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform MORE and John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Postal Service expansion into banking services misguided Arkansas governor backs Sarah Huckabee Sanders to replace him MORE, threw their support behind her gubernatorial bid.

Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), served for two years as former President TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE’s White House press secretary, and has maintained a close alliance with him ever since. Trump endorsed her bid for governor in January. 

In a statement on Friday, Sanders thanked Hutchinson for his endorsement, pledging to follow his lead on tax policy.

“I am thankful for his leadership lowering taxes and laying the foundation for future growth and prosperity,” she said. “As governor, I will continue to his work to lower and phase out the state income tax and unleash bold, conservative reforms that will create opportunity for all Arkansans.”