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Sarah Huckabee Sanders raises $4.8 million in governor’s race

Arkansas gubernatorial candidate and former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders raised a staggering $4.8 million in her first quarter as a candidate, her campaign announced on Thursday.

Sanders’ campaign said the fundraising haul broke the record for a money raised in a single quarter by any candidate in Arkansas history. Sanders announced she was running for the seat, which will be vacated by Governor Asa Hutchinson, in late January. Sanders brought in more money than the $4.4 million Hutchinson raised in the whole 2014 race

“Our message of limiting government and advancing education and opportunity is clearly resonating,” Sanders said in a statement. “I will be on the front line of the fight for freedom and am encouraged to have so many friends across our state and country standing with us.”

The campaign said more than $1.5 million of Sanders’ donations came from Arkansans, meaning about two-thirds of the money she raised came from out-of-state donors. The average donation was $97 and 90% of donations were $100 or less, according to the campaign. 

Sanders, who held an event with former President Trump on Friday night, was the first candidate Mr. Trump endorsed after leaving office. 

“To put Sarah’s $4.8+ million raised in two months in perspective, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson raised $4.4 million over two years for his entire campaign when he was first elected in the 2014 cycle,”  a campaign official said to CBS.

Sanders’ father, Mike Huckabee, was governor of Arkansas from 1996 until 2007. But Sanders became a national figure in her own right when working in the Trump administration.  She became White House press secretary in 2017 after Sean Spicer resigned. 

Sanders left the White House in 2019 after serving as press secretary for two years, but remained one of Mr. Trump’s favorite advisers. 

Sanders is facing Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge for the GOP nomination, but Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin dropped out of the race soon after Sanders jumped in. Griffin is now running for Arkansas Attorney General and received Mr. Trump’s endorsement last month. Cook Political Report rates Arkansas’ gubernatorial race as “solid Republican.”



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