Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Sarah Huckabee Sanders wins Republican nomination for Arkansas governor with rural-focused, culture wars campaign

March 17, 2022 Tweet 
by Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Sarah Huckabee Sanders victory in the GOP primary in Arkansas isn't a rural story per se, but I'm going to blog about it here simply on the basis that Arkansas is popularly thought of a rural state.  In fact, a significant portion of the state's population do live in rural places.  (A 2008 post on Arkansas's rurality, in relation to its politics, is here).
As anticipated, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has handily secured the Republican nomination for Governor of Arkansas.  She had a $14 million dollar war chest (raised mostly from outside the state) and no serious opposition in the GOP primary.  

NPR ran a story about Sanders the afternoon before the Tuesday primary, with this commentary on her campaign strategy; Breen is a Little Rock-based reporter:  

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: Everything we love about America is at stake. And with the radical left now in control of Washington, your governor is your last line of defense.

BREEN: Much of Sanders' campaign rhetoric focuses on national issues, positioning herself as a crusader against the liberal agenda, cancel culture and government overreach.

* * *  

BREEN: Unlike Trump, Sanders tends to steer clear of large campaign rallies in favor of smaller events in mainly rural, largely white communities. She also rarely gives interviews. [Political science professor Heather] Yates says that's gotten more popular with the GOP since Donald Trump. 
Speaking of smaller events in mainly rural, largely white communities, this is from May 16, 2022 in my hometown newspaper, The Newton County Times:
Newton County Times, May 18, 2022,
below the fold photo of Sarah Huckabee Sanders,
a local businessman, and the county sheriff 
Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders was spied in Jasper last Thursday along with her family. They were visiting Bubba's Buffalo River Store. Pictured with Sanders are proprietor Walter "Bubba" Lloyd and Newton County Sheriff Glenn Wheeler. Sanders said she, her husband, Bryan, and children, Scarlett, Huck, and George were going on a scheduled float trip on the Buffalo National River arranged by the Buffalo Outdoor Center of Ponca. She said she has been to Newton County and floated the river on several occasions. Sanders served as White House Press Secretary for President Donald J. Trump from 2017 to 2019. Her father is former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

The short story accompanies a large front-page photo under the headline, "Look Who's Visiting?"

Meanwhile, PBS just ran this feature about the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Chris Jones, a 7th generation Arkansan, an ordained minister and physicist with degrees from Morehouse College and MIT.  Jones has committed to a "walk a mile in your shoes" campaign, in which he'll walk a mile in each of Arkansas's 75 counties.  He has already visited each county once--well, he has at least driven through each county once.  It's got to be hard for an African American like Jones to go into an all-white county like my home county to campaign, but I'm pleased he's committed to doing so.  Here's a photo of him passing through the county, which he posted on Earth Day.  Not sure when he was actually there.  

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