Cabot, Ark (AP) – She toured the state on her named campervan and started a TV commercial that aired during an Arkansas Razorbacks football game and spoke to a packed house in a restaurant. The introduction of former White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee as gubernatorial candidate doesn’t stray from most campaigns here.
Except the crowds, which are way beyond what people have seen in this almost rural area. And the story of the campaign is often not about the state.
âWhen I travel around the state I keep hearing this review,â Oh, there’s Sarah Sanders, who is nationalizing the race, âSanders said at Cabot’s Colton’s Steakhouse, a 30-minute drive from the state. The capital of Little Rock spoke to hundreds of people crammed in. “And my response to these people is, ‘You must be me.’ If you don’t pay attention to what’s going on in this country, what’s going on? it? Because I neglected it. “
Sanders’ fame as a spokesperson for former President Donald Trump has given her the status of an immediate and leading candidate in one of the most Trump-friendly states in the United States. It also transforms the politics where racial voters in the state are used to hearing overwhelmingly about Arkansas taxes, Arkansas roads, and Arkansas schools.
It is not the only place where local politics are no longer local. Republican gubernatorial candidates elsewhere are also focusing on President Joe Biden rather than their opponents, focusing on federal issues rather than state issues. And many Democrats want to talk about Trump more than their rivals.
Janine Parry, professor of political science at the University of Arkansas, said: Politics is “in a period of serious nationalization,” Parry said.
This contrasts with the past race of Gov. Asa Hutchinson of the Republican Party, who campaigned for compulsory computer education in schools. His predecessor, Democratic Governor Mike Beebe, called for the phase-out of the tax on grocery sales.
In January, Sanders, 39, announced his candidacy, promising to fight the “radical left,” very hard to find in bright red Arkansas. On Twitter and elsewhere, she clashes with Biden over the response to the coronavirus pandemic, immigration, and withdrawal from Afghanistan.
âSarah Sanders did not run for governor of Arkansas. She’s running on a national stage, âhe said. Michael John Gray, former Democratic chairman and now head of an independent committee focused primarily on defeating Sanders’ deals, said.
Sanders’ approach reflects how the country has become polarized in recent years. Even in local races, convening an unpopular Democratic People’s Party is seen as the best tactic to motivate voters.
In Iowa, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is expected to run for office, has slammed Biden on many issues, including federal spending.
In Oklahoma, Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who faces re-election next year, says little about the state’s fight against COVID-19, which passed the 10,000 death mark this week, but in the ‘Biden’s Afghanistan. We have posted a sophisticated performance video.
Some Democrats also lean towards the people. California Governor Gavin Newsom foiled a recall attempt earlier this month in a campaign against “Trumpism.” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy campaigns for abortion rights and gun control, and at a recent rally he criticized the right-wing policies of states such as Florida and the Texas.
When Sanders talks about Arkansas, she only does it in broad strokes. She says she’s sick of the state being at the bottom of many rankings. She said she wanted to abolish state income tax, but gave no guidance on how to do it. She also states that she is doing something about workforce education and training, but that hasn’t changed much since her father Mike Huckabee was governor from 1996 to 2007. She said.
âWe have to stop trying to push kids through the system and focus on how they actually prepare to enter the workforce,â she told The Associated Press. Said to.
Best known for the White House briefing, in which she fought with reporters and faced questions about her veracity, Sanders is no wonder in state politics. She starred in a television commercial for her father’s campaign in the 1990s and early 2000s, and chaired the campaign of Arkansas Senator John Boozman.
She rarely mentions current Trump governor Hutchinson, who branded RINO, or Republican In Name Only, after he vetoed the anti-transgender bill. Hutchinson is barred from running for governor again due to state restrictions.
His first TV commercial features images of his father and former President Bill Clinton to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Little Rock Central High School’s elimination of racial discrimination. He swivels quickly towards his favorite target, claiming that “the radical left wants to teach our children that America is a racist and evil country.”
Sanders embarked on a statewide tour this month, including a rally with 1,000-person country singer John Rich and a parade on Lake Ouachita, who said his campaign included more than 1,500 boats. I did.
Sanders stopped in Cabot, a town of about 25,000, and received the biggest applause while talking about Trump.
âI am proud to have worked with the president. The president did exactly what he was trying to do, âshe said.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Sanders’ only rival in the Republican primary, is far behind in funding. Sanders reported in July that he had raised $ 9 million since announcing his candidacy, with most of the funding coming from out of state.
Latledge says there is little success behind Sanders’ rhetoric.
“My opponent talks about the Liberals left behind in Washington, DC, but she has done nothing to fight them effectively over the past few years,” Latledge told AP.
Facing the rise, Democrats are trying to point to Sanders’ time in the White House as a sign that she can’t connect people.
But in Arkansas, where Trump won over 62% of the vote, his bipartisan past is a boon for many. In Cabot, part of the barely masked public wore red playing card hats and shirts featuring the former president.
Kristen Harrington, who works for Cabot’s honey business and wears a shirt that says âMean Tweet 2024,â said:
Harold Glenn Ernest, a 96-year veteran of a little romance about 30 miles north of Cabot, spoke to Sanders at a restaurant, said he was already thinking beyond the governor’s mansion.
âShe will be governor. There’s no question about it, âsaid Ernest. âI want to see her run for president. “
Associated Press editors Kathleen Ronayne, David Pitt, Marc Levy, Michael Catalini, and Sean Murphy contributed to this report.
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