Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is officially jumping back into politics, in perhaps the most unexpected (yet terrifying) way. A year and a half after leaving former president Donald Trump’s administration, Sanders announced her bid for governor of Arkansas in 2022 in an eight-minute video shared to Twitter on Monday, which she captioned with “I’m in.”
“With the radical left now in control of Washington, your governor is your last line of defense,” Sanders said in her announcement. “In fact, your governor must be on the front line. So today I announce my candidacy for governor of Arkansas, and ask for your prayers and support.” She then laid out her plans: “As governor, I will defend your right to be free of socialism and tyranny, your Second Amendment right to keep your family safe and your freedom of speech and religious liberty.”
Sanders first joined Trump’s administration as the deputy White House press secretary, a position she held until 2017 when she assumed former White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s role following his leave. During her time in the administration, Sanders was notable not only for her loyalty to the former president, but for how few press briefings she held. Prior to her leave from the White House in June of 2019, she hadn’t held a press briefing in over 100 days. Sanders’ briefings were also notably short; according to Politico, each briefing only lasted 15 to 18 minutes.
With her decision to run for governor, Sanders, who is daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, is the first person from Trump’s team to run for public office. It’s a move that will no doubt spark a trend among former members of team Trump, almost all of whom have made themselves public figures because of their association with the former commander-in-chief.
Rumors of Ivanka Trump, who was her father’s former senior adviser and the Director of the Office of Economic Initiatives and Entrepreneurship, running for some sort of public office in Florida was reported back in December. She’s also reportedly entertained the idea of running for president herself. And while Donald Trump Jr. has not made any public declarations of running for a governmental position, it’s been reported that, as a GOP conspiracy darling, he could possibly take over the Senate seat of Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey. Lara Trump, Eric Trump’s wife, is also reportedly considering a Senate run in North Carolina in 2022.
As much as she wants to forge her own political path with her gubernatorial run, Sanders — and all that she stood for during Trump’s time in office — will likely continue to face scrutiny for telling some of the most outrageous lies on behalf of the Trump administration. From regularly bickering with reporters to repeatedly insisting that Trump never encouraged violence, she’s still remembered for upholding the Trump legacy, which, as you recall, ended in two impeachments and an insurrection.