“I can be that leader for Arkansas”

Huckabee-Sanders, Rutledge address Republicans in Arkadelphia

ARKADELPHIA, AR— On September 9, HSU was the host campus for the Clark County Republican Committee’s Lincoln Day Dinner. Their special guest speakers, two familiar names to Arkansans, came to address the organization ahead of what could be an eventful campaign season.

Arkansas gubernatorial candidates Sara Huckabee visited Arkadelphia and spoke at the evening dinner event hosted by the Republican Committee. Head of the county’s political group, Stephen Silberkraus, introduced both candidates as they spoke to those in attendance.

The evening began with a welcome and prayer that was a segue into dinner. The speaking engagement was preceded by the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the national anthem, a video presentation of a poem about the American flag, and an auction of trips and memorabilia, and the committee’s annual awards to their politicians.

Former White House press secretary and current gubernatorial candidate Sara Huckabee-Sanders took to the podium first. With her fifteen minutes, she addressed the recurring theme of her being the daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and how she has embraced the label. Huckabee-Sanders stated, “He is one of the best people I’ve ever known.” Huckabee-Sanders spoke on her summers growing up in Arkadelphia, working on Capitol Hill under former President Donald Trump— something she is very proud of— and her motivation for wanting to govern the Natural State.

“There’s no person who has been challenged or criticized as much as I have and been able to come out stronger on the other side.” The candidate went on to say that she is “tired of watching Arkansas competing at the bottom,” and that being governor “is not a responsibility I take lightly… I relish it.”

Also running for the highest position in the state, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge made an appearance at the event sway the voters in her favor. Rutledge described herself as a “Christian, Pro-Life, gun carrying, conservative Momma,” and that those qualities will make her “a better governor.”

Rutledge emphasized how she has been a trailblazer for women politicians in the state and how she “is pretty good at breaking the glass ceiling” in politics. She listed her accolades and laws she has contributed to enacting since beginning her tenure in her current position, as well as contrasting Huckabee-Sanders’ position of Arkansas being last by naming some categories that Arkansas is the leader in. Rutledge’s platform emphasis: “Make Arkansas First.”

Rutledge wasted no time addressing the controversial issues the state government has on the table and her thoughts and opinions on them. She touched on her support for Second Amendment laws, her stance on Critical Race Theory, gender laws for youth in the state, and tort reform, along with other topics of concern. The attorney general spoke on the current state of the federal government and how she has devoted time to flipping the government majority back to Republicans.

“I’m the only one running with seven years experience behind a desk making decisions for Arkansas,” said Rutledge, who was elected to office in 2014. In regards to her Huckabee-Sanders, Rutledge mentioned their relationship and family history. “[Sara and I] have been friends for a long time. Her daddy was my first contributor to my campaign back in 2014.”

The state politician closed out the speaking engagement by stating: “The next Governor of AR will be a Republican, and the next Governor of AR will be a woman,” and that regardless of the outcome of the election, “I will never stop fighting for the future of the great state of Arkansas.”