Former President Donald Trump on Monday night publicly endorsed Sarah Huckabee Sanders in her run for Arkansas governor, saying she will “always fight” for the state and “do what is right.”
In a statement released late Monday, Trump said Sanders, who served as his press secretary until June 2019, is a “warrior who will always fight for the people of Arkansas and do what is right, not what is politically correct.”
“Sarah is strong on Borders, tough on Crime, and fully supports the Second Amendment and our great law enforcement officers,” Trump continued. “She loves our Military and Veterans—and her home state of Arkansas.”
“Sarah will be a GREAT Governor, and she has my Complete and Total Endorsement!"
“With the radical left now in control of Washington, your governor is your last line of defense,” she said. “With your support, I hope to be the first woman to lead our state as governor.”
Sanders is the most high-profile Trump official to seek major office and is doing so less than a week after the end of his presidency.
Ward won 51.5 percent of the vote, to 48.5 percent for challenger Sergio Arellano in the second round of voting.
Sanders is hoping to replace current Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who will be unable to run for reelection next year due to term limits.
She joins a Republican primary that already includes two statewide elected leaders, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. No Democrats have announced a bid to run for the seat.
Republicans hold a firm grip on Arkansas, with the GOP holding all statewide and federal seats. They also hold a majority in both chambers of the legislature. Trump in November won the state by nearly 28 percentage points.
“We love you. We will be back in some form,” he said at the time. “I will always fight for you. I will always be watching. I will be listening.”