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Sarah Huckabee Sanders raises $9.1m for Arkansas governor’s race – $7.7m more than her nearest rival


Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has raised $9.1million in her bid to become Arkansas‘ next governor, according to her campaign. 

Her total so far is $7.7 million more than her nearest fundraising rival in the race for Arkansas governor, Attorney General and fellow Republican Leslie Rutledge. 

Much of Huckabee’s funds are coming from out of state, thanks to fans she won over while serving as Donald Trump‘s press secretary between July 2017 and July 2019. 

She raised $721,000 from Florida donors, $705,000 from Texans, $324,000 from Californians and $292,000 from Tennessee.  

The three highest grossing candidates running in the 2022 race to succeed current Governor Asa Hutchinson: Huckabee Sanders, Rutledge and Chris Jones account for 99.8 percent of all fundraising. 

Though Sanders is technically one of seven candidates running for the hot seat, she has drawn nearly 82 percent of all campaign contributions from both the Republican and Democratic party so far, according to the Arkansas secretary of state’s office.

Her father Mike Huckabee served as Governor of Arkansas between 1996 and 2007.  

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ (pictured) campaign says she has raised over $9 million in her bid to be Arkansas’ next governor

Leslie Rutledge (pictured), Arkansas' Attorney General, is a more local face that is also involved in the gubernatorial race, and has raised close to $1.5 million

Leslie Rutledge (pictured), Arkansas’ Attorney General, is a more local face that is also involved in the gubernatorial race, and has raised close to $1.5 million 

Chris Jones (right) is the leading Democratic candidate for Arkansas' 2022 election. He has raised close to $600,000

Chris Jones (right) is the leading Democratic candidate for Arkansas’ 2022 election. He has raised close to $600,000 

Rutledge comes in second at about 13 percent, with $1.46 million. 

Jones, a nuclear engineer and ordained minister, is third with 5.2 percent as his donations stand at $587,247.

The four other candidates for governor report have collected than $10,000 each. 

However, never has there been a larger amount of out-of-state money involved in the Arkansas gubernatorial race until now. 

More than half of donations raised by 39 year-old Huckabee Sanders, a married mom of three children, have come from elsewhere than Arkansas.     

About $3 of every $5 she’s raised come from out-of-state residents and in many cases, don’t necessarily have an affiliation with Arkansas.

Jeff Alling, a general contractor, donated $200 earlier this year to the Huckabee Sanders campaign. He is listed as living in North Pole, Alaska. He said that Huckabee Sanders got his vote due to her ‘clear-headed thinking’ as press secretary for former President Donald Trump. 

He added that he’s a fan of her father, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and that his vote would count down the line, ‘five, 10, 20 years in the future’ because he reckons Sanders has ‘a chance at a higher position in our government.’

Huckabee Sanders’ donors also include executives from big money corporations, such as Kenny Troutt of Dallas, a telecommunications company founder and owner of 2018 Triple Crown-winning racehorse Justify.  

The billionaire and regular donor to the Republican party gave a $11,200 check for Huckabee Sanders’ campaign to cash in.   

Besides Troutt, well-known, out-of-state contributors include Thomas Monaghan of Ann Arbor, Michigan, founder of Domino’s Pizza. He donated $5,600 to Huckabee Sanders.

Richard Grasso of Key Largo, Florida, former chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, also gave $3,200 to Huckabee Sanders.

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has raised $9.1million in her bid to become Arkansas' next governor, according to her campaign. Rutledge comes in second at about 13 percent, with $1.46 million and Jones is third with 5.2 percent as his donations stand at $587,247.

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has raised $9.1million in her bid to become Arkansas’ next governor, according to her campaign. Rutledge comes in second at about 13 percent, with $1.46 million and Jones is third with 5.2 percent as his donations stand at $587,247.

In July, Huckabee Sanders said her campaign has received funds from 67,000 donors across the US. She also mentioned the campaign received $1.5million in contributions from Arkansas.  

Her campaign managers lauded the record-breaking campaign numbers.

‘Sarah is thrilled with the overwhelming support she has received from people in every county in our state and every state in our nation who trust her to be the last line of defense against the radical left in Washington and fight for our freedom, good schools, higher paying jobs, and a better life for all,’ current campaign manager Chris Caldwell said in an email in response to Arkansas Democrat-Gazette inquiry about fundraising.

However, Jones has a higher percentage of out-of-state contributions than Sanders, 72.2 percent to 61 percent.

Their dollar counts can not be compared though as Jones reported $291,283 from outside Arkansas compared with Sanders’ $4.6 million. Rutledge is behind Jones when it comes to campaign funding from outside state borders, at $276,900. 

Aware of Huckabee Sanders’ fundraising methods, political opponents have already started to tell voters that if the main Republican candidate were elected, then she wouldn’t focus on Arkansas’ priorities. 

They argue she would serve the interests and political agendas of wealthy donors.  

‘We knew that Sarah Huckabee Sanders would raise a truckload of money,’ Jones said in an email sent to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. ‘After traveling all across the state since our announcement, I can confidently say that Arkansans aren’t looking for that. They aren’t looking for division, chaos and outside interests.

‘They are looking for unity, problem solving and a bright future. They want a governor who will improve our education system, expand our economy by focusing on small businesses and rebuild our infrastructure.’

Jones added that his campaign knows ‘national money is going to blanket our state against us. So, it’s going to take a huge outpouring of grassroots support to combat the mistruths and distortions that are sure to come.’

Asked recently if she’s nationalizing the governor’s race in her home state, Sanders replied:, ‘You bet I am.’ 

Former President Donald Trump with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in 2019

Former President Donald Trump with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in 2019

Sander is pictured with her father Mike Huckabee, who served as Governor of Arkansas between 1996 and 2007

Sander is pictured with her father Mike Huckabee, who served as Governor of Arkansas between 1996 and 2007 

She added that the state needs someone to ‘push back against the radical left,’ while she was at a Republican fundraiser last month.   

Huckabee Sanders has so far raised $3 million more than Governor Asa Hutchinson for his entire 2018 campaign. She also has plenty of time to rack up more as the 2022 governor’s race isn’t until November 8 of next year.

However, the daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has also spent the most money so far on the race: $2.8million, according to her campaign’s filings. 

Rutledge, as of June 30, reported spending $299,584, while Jones’ campaign filed $47,808. 

In Arkansas, a donor can give a political candidate up to $2,900 for each primary, general election or other race, according to the Arkansas Ethics Commission. 

Big donors often give up to $5,800 to a candidate facing a party primary and a general election.  

The next fundraising campaign reports are due October 15. 



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