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Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is projected to win the Arkansas Republican gubernatorial primary, the Associated Press projects.
Endorsed early on in the race by former President Trump, Sanders is hoping to replace incumbent Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is term-limited and has served as governor of the state since 2015.
Incumbent Arkansas Republican Sen. John Boozman defeated his primary challengers as he seeks to retain his Senate seat later this year against his Democratic opponent, the Associated Press said.
Ahead of Tuesday’s election, Sanders, who announced she was running for governor in January 2021, consistently polled ahead of Francis “Doc” Washburn, her primary challenger. Washburn is a former radio talk show host who now has his own national podcast.
Sanders, a mother of three, served as White House press secretary in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019. Sanders’ father, Mike Huckabee, served as the 44th governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. Should she defeat her Democratic opponent in the race for governor later this year, Sanders will become the first female governor in Arkansas history.
Monday was the deadline for campaigns to file their monthly fundraising reports with the state. Sanders reported having more than $7 million cash on hand for her campaign at the end of April. Sanders’ campaign reported spending more than $838,000 last month. Far outpacing her Republican and Democratic challengers, she has raised nearly $15 million since launching her campaign.
Chris Jones, the front-runner in fundraising among the five Democrats seeking the party’s nomination, raised more than $161,000 last month and spent more than $147,000. Jones has raised $1.8 million since entering the governor’s race and has about $108,000 on hand.
Boozman, who also received Trump’s endorsement, saw widespread support throughout the state during his campaign for another term. However, he was also met with a backlash among those who were not pleased that he did not support overturning the 2020 election results.
The most vocal of Boozman’s challengers was former NFL star Jake Bequette, who enjoyed the support of billionaire Richard Uihlein’s contribution of $1.5 million to fund a super PAC backing Bequette.
Boozman’s political career began in the U.S. House in 2001 after he won a special election. He served in that role until 2010 when he was first elected to the Senate.
Boozman, a former optometrist, is the senior Senator from Arkansas and the dean of the state’s congressional delegation. In 2016, he defeated his primary challenger Curtis Coleman in the GOP primary election for Senate out of Arkansas.
In addition to Bequette, other candidates who sought the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Arkansas were Heath Loftis and Jan Morgan.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and The Associated Press contributed to this article.