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

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Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has raised $9.1 million in her bid to become the next governor of Arkansas, according to her campaign.

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

Much of Huckabee’s funds come from out of state, thanks to fans she won when she was 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 most profitable candidates in the 2022 race to succeed current Governor Asa Hutchinson: Huckabee Sanders, Rutledge and Chris Jones account for 99.8 percent of all fundraising.

Although Sanders is technically one of seven candidates running for the hot seat, she has received nearly 82 percent of all campaign contributions from both the Republican and Democratic parties to date, the Arkansas Secretary of State said.

Her father Mike Huckabee was governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007.

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (pictured) campaign says she has raised more than $9 million in her bid to become the next governor of Arkansas

Leslie Rutledge (pictured), the Arkansas Attorney General, is a more local face who is also involved in the gubernatorial race, raising nearly $1.5 million

Leslie Rutledge (pictured), the Arkansas Attorney General, is a more local face who is also involved in the gubernatorial race, raising nearly $1.5 million

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

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

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

Jones, a nuclear engineer and ordained pastor, ranks third with 5.2 percent, as his donations total $587,247.

The four other candidates for the governor’s report have each raised more than $10,000.

Until now, however, no greater amount of out-of-state money has ever been involved in the Arkansas gubernatorial race.

More than half of the donations raised by 39-year-old Huckabee Sanders, a married mother of three, come from outside Arkansas.

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

Jeff Alling, a general contractor, donated $200 to the Huckabee Sanders campaign earlier this year. He is listed as living in the Arctic, Alaska. He said Huckabee Sanders got his vote for her “down-to-earth thinking” as former President Donald Trump’s press secretary.

He added that he is a fan of her father, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and that his vote would be counting down “five, 10, 20 years into the future” because he thinks Sanders “has a chance at a senior position in our government.’

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

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

In addition to Troutt, Thomas Monaghan of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is the founder of Domino’s Pizza, well-known out-of-state contributors. 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 $9.1 million in her bid to become the next governor of Arkansas, according to her campaign.  Rutledge comes in second with about 13 percent, with $1.46 million, and Jones is third with 5.2 percent, as his donations total $587,247.

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

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

Her campaign managers praised the record-breaking campaign figures.

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 as the last line of defense against the radical left in Washington and fighting for our freedom, good schools, better paid jobs and a better life for all,” current campaign manager Chris Caldwell said in an email in response to: Arkansas Democrat Gazette question about fundraising.

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

Their number of dollars cannot be compared, however, as Jones reported $291,283 from outside Arkansas, compared to $4.6 million from Sanders. Rutledge is behind Jones when it comes to campaign finance from outside the state, at $276,900.

Aware of Huckabee Sanders’ fundraising methods, political opponents have already begun telling voters that if the leading Republican candidate were elected, she would not focus on Arkansas’s priorities.

They claim that they would serve the interests and political agendas of wealthy donors.

“We knew Sarah Huckabee Sanders was going to pick up a truckload of money,” Jones said in an email to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “Having traveled all over the state since our announcement, I can confidently say that Arkansans aren’t looking for that. They are not 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 that “national money will cover our state against us. So it will take a huge stream of grassroots support to combat the falsehoods and distortions that are sure to come.”

When asked if she would nationalize the governor’s race in her home state, Sanders replied, “I certainly 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 from 1996 to 2007.

Sander is pictured with her father Mike Huckabee, who served as governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007.

She added that the state needs someone to “pull 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 collect more, as the 2022 governor’s race doesn’t take place until November 8 of next year.

However, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has also spent the most money on the race to date: $2.8 million, according to her campaign data.

Rutledge reported on June 30 that he spent $299,584, while Jones’ campaign had filed $47,808.

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

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

The next fundraising reports are expected on October 15.

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