One of the main competitors of Sarah Huckabee Sanders for the Republican nomination in the 2022 Arkansas governor’s race has dropped out.
On Monday, Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin (R) ended his campaign just two weeks after Sanders, who was a White House press secretary during the Trump administration, declared her candidacy. He has served as lieutenant governor since 2014.
“Since announcing my campaign for governor last year, I’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible support I have received from all corners of the state,” Griffin said in a Monday statement. “While I believe Arkansans are ready for my message of bold, conservative leadership, my conversations with friends and supporters have persuaded me that at this time, I can do more for Arkansas in a different capacity.”
“Today I am announcing my campaign for Attorney General of Arkansas. We need an Attorney General who will back law enforcement, stand for law and order by cracking down on crime and corruption, and fight the liberal agenda of the Biden/Harris Administration in court,” he added.
Following his statement, Sanders wished Griffin and his family the best of luck.
“Tim Griffin has been a strong voice for Arkansas and I look forward to working with him to unite our party and make our state better. I wish Tim and his family the very best,” she tweeted.
Sanders’ old boss, former President Donald Trump, was quick to endorse her after she announced her campaign, saying she will “always fight” for Arkansans and “do what is right.”
“Sarah is strong on Borders, tough on Crime, and fully supports the Second Amendment and our great law enforcement officers,” Trump said in a statement on January 25. “Sarah will be a GREAT Governor, and she has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”
Since departing the White House in June 2019, Trump had urged her to run.
“She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job!” the then-president wrote as she was departing, according to Fox News. “I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic.”
Sanders, it should be noted, is the daughter of former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee (R).
However, Sanders still faces another competitor: Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R), who is in her second term. They are both running to replace the term-limited Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Rutledge on Monday put out her own statement about Griffin exiting the race.
“Tim Griffin is a fierce advocate for Arkansas’s conservative values – our military, law enforcement, and rule of law. Having been the Attorney General for over 6 years, I personally know the importance of the role in which every decision I make impacts 3 million Arkansans daily and the enormous responsibility I have to proactively protect and defend our constitutional rights against the aggressive liberal agenda of the Biden-Harris Administration, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi,” Rutledge said in a statement shared to Twitter. “I wish Tim and his family the best.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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