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Sarah Huckabee Sanders to become Arkansas's 1st woman governor

Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders has won the election to become Arkansas's next governor, according to the Associated Press.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders has made history and will become Arkansas's first female governor, according to the Associated Press.

Her win was called by the Associated Press just minutes after polls closed.

She won the 2022 election to become the 47th Arkansas governor, beating out Democrat Chris Jones and Libertarian Ricky Dale Harrington.

Polls leading up to the election showed Sanders maintaining at least a 10-point lead over fellow frontrunner Chris Jones, who many considered her biggest opponent.

Following her victory, Sanders will be the first woman to ever become governor in the state of Arkansas.  

Sanders, who secured the Republican nomination for the Arkansas governor race back in May of 2022, has long been the front-runner since originally announcing her campaign.

RELATED: Arkansas governor race | What to know before you vote

The governor-elect served as the former White House press secretary under former President Donald Trump and is also the daughter of the 44th Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee. 

Sanders has used her affiliation with Trump as one of the foundations for her campaign and has pledged to combat policies enacted by the Biden administration.

As for her plans for Arkansas, Sanders has long made the proclamation to focus on the reduction of violent crime and income tax in the state, though the exact specifics have not been given.

"If we are putting this much money into the system, and our results are actually getting worse as we put more money in. That is not a standard by which I think we can operate," Sanders said about income tax.

During her first public debate with fellow candidates, Sanders also spoke on her stance towards gender-affirming care in the state.

"They are not capable of making adult decisions at that age. And we need to do a better job of making sure we not only protect them in this instance but across the board," Huckabee-Sanders said.

She is set to take over the job from Republican Asa Hutchinson, who assumed office as governor starting in 2015 after claiming victory in both the 2014 and 2018 elections.

On Wednesday, Hutchinson and Sanders met where he congratulated her on the victory and committed to a "seamless transition."

"With this being Arkansas’ first Republican to Republican gubernatorial transition, the two agreed that it presents incredible opportunities to continue to move the state forward and unleash new, bold reforms," said Judd Deere, a spokesperson for Sanders. "The Governor and Governor-elect agreed to stay in regular contact and for their staffs to begin the work of a transition immediately.”


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