According to the former spokesperson for Republican National Committee, early GOP contenders for Arkansas' governorship that will open up in 2022 are getting out of the way for Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but mainstream Republicans in the state aren't thrilled about it.
In his column for the conservative Bulwark, Tim Miller claimed it was inevitable that the former Donald Trump White House spokesperson -- and daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee -- would move to the top of the list despite interest from several other GOP lawmakers who have paid their dues and had their eye on the seat.
But, as he explained, Huckabee Sanders' relationship with Trump was an overriding factor.
"We all know by now that Sarah Huckabee Sanders is running for governor based on her experience as the most deft liar among the cadre of Trump press secretaries," he sarcastically wrote before pointedly adding, "But this development wasn't met with immediate excitement among the Republican establishment in the Natural State."
With Miller disclosing he worked in the state with one of the lawmakers who was considering a run, he added, "...there were two long-time establishment Republican pols who were primed for the type of primary battle the party used to have in the Before Times: Arkansas Lt. Gov Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge."
"Griffin ran for Congress and was elected in the 2010 Tea Party wave, besting one of the late-stage blue dog Democrats. In 2014 he returned to Arkansas to run for lieutenant governor and patiently waited his turn, plotting an ascension to the governorship in 2022. Griffin was not in any sense a 'Trump' Republican in style or substance, but like everyone who wanted to survive, he went along with it to the extent required of a local GOP elected," Miller explained before writing, "Along came SHS. Whose only credential is that she is closer to Trump than anyone in America outside of The Family. Bowing to reality, Griffin quickly gave up his gubernatorial dreams without a fight—he's now running for AG instead."
According to Miller, the old way of running for a seat in the state has gone by the wayside after the Trump era, with the Republican leadership bowing to the inevitable.
"So there's no civil war in Arkansas, either." he lamented. "The party regulars are almost entirely on one side of the battle. And your ability to rise through the ranks is determined entirely by your relational proximity to the former president."
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