Huckabee Sanders’ Freedom Tour Rally Comes to Town

Gubernatorial candidate seeks support from northeast Arkansas voters

Delta Digital News Service

By Courtney Edwards | Aspiring Journalist

Sept. 9, 2021

JONESBORO, Ark. – Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders arrived at the ASU Regional Farmers’ Market for her Freedom Tour rally Wednesday.

“I may just have to relocate permanently to Jonesboro with that kind of welcome,” Sanders said as she addressed the crowd.  Sanders mentioned the friendly faces looking back at her. “So many times, when I’ve come up and taken a microphone in front of a crowd, the faces aren’t so friendly,” she said.

Sanders, a republican, spoke of her position as former White House press secretary for President Donald Trump, as well as her familial tie to politics as  the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who served as the states 44th governor.

“I was in college before I knew it wasn’t normal to spend your weekends and summers passing out brochures and asking people to vote for my parents,” Sanders said.

Sarah Sanders 2

Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders addresses the crowd during her Freedom Tour rally at the ASU Regional Famers’ Market in Jonesboro on Wednesday.

Bill Ennis of Jonesboro said he supported Sanders because she believes in the same things he believes – hard work and dedication.

“I like her dad,” Ennis said. “She did a great job when she worked for Donald Trump and she’s what Arkansas needs.”

She followed in her father’s footsteps by attending Ouachita Baptist University, where she served as a member of the student senate while pursuing a bachelor of arts in political science and a minor in mass communications. Sanders  graduated in 2004.

Sanders was the third woman to ever fill the position as White House press secretary. Now, she’s hoping to become Arkansas’s first female governor.

Sanders said being a mom helped her to keep her priorities in place for her role as press secretary. When she started, her kids were ages 5, 3 and 1.  

“One of the reasons I’m running for Governor of Arkansas is because I want to make sure the path in front of my kids, and the path in front of every kid growing up in this state, is free and clear so that they can run full speed towards whatever it is that they want,”

– Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Josh Hannah of Paragould said he attended the event to hear what Sanders had to say to decide whether he wanted to vote for her or not. He agreed with Sanders about protecting the Second Amendment.

“She hasn’t said anything that I disagree with, so I support her,” Hannah said. “It may change, but until then, it won’t.”

During her time as press secretary, Sanders had to defend Trump’s controversial or seemingly contradictory statements which led to her own credibility becoming questionable.

After her announcement to run for governor, NPR reported that in May 2017, Sanders told reporters Trump fired then FBI Director James Comey after White House officials “heard from countless members of the FBI” that rank-and-file members had lost confidence in Comey. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report said what Sanders said was not true.

Sanders, a republican, said she experienced some criticism on her tour around the state, saying she was “nationalizing the race.”

“And my answer to those people-you bet I am.… We have people in Washington in leadership, the radical left that are not OK just changing policy,” she said. “They want to fundamentally change who we are as a country. And we cannot sit back and do nothing and allow that to happen.”

A supporter of Sanders, Gary Harpole of Jonesboro attended the rally with his wife, Lisa. He said electing the right governor was very important, and he believed Sanders was the right choice.

“We believe in her vision for the state and her vision for the community,” Harpole said. “She has shown a tremendous effort to Northeast Arkansas and that’s just real important.”

Sanders said Arkansas needs a governor who is capable of leading the fight. She said not only would she wage that fight, but she would win it.

“Not only will I be a fighter,” Sanders said. “I will be the leader that our state needs to take us straight to the top.”

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is term-limited and cannot seek reelection. Sanders announced her run for Governor on Jan. 25, 2021. The election will be held on Nov. 8, 2022.