Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders left the administration in 2019, on good terms with Donald Trump / © AFP/File
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former press secretary for Donald Trump, announced Monday she is running for governor of the state of Arkansas.
Sanders, 38, heads into the 2022 race with strong name recognition thanks largely to her time in the White House, where she developed a solid rapport with Trump and a combative relationship with the press.
Before heading to Washington, Sanders had been campaign manager for her father, Mike Huckabee, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Huckabee himself had served as Arkansas governor from 1996 to 2007.
The southern state is strongly Republican, and Sanders is seen as a favorite to secure the party's nomination for next year's election.
Trump remains popular in Arkansas, and Sanders chose to highlight her time with the twice-impeached president during an eight-minute video announcing her run.
"With the radical left now in control of Washington, your governor is your last line of defense," Sanders said in the video posted on Twitter.
"As governor, I will defend your right to be free of socialism and tyranny."
Sanders left the White House in 2019 and, unlike many of Trump's former employees, departed on good terms with the mercurial businessman, who was quick to endorse her.
"Sarah is strong on Borders, tough on Crime, and fully supports the Second Amendment and our great law enforcement officers," her former boss said in a statement Monday. "Sarah will be a GREAT Governor, and she has my Complete and Total Endorsement!"
A mother of three, Sanders would sometimes discuss her family and religious faith with journalists.
"I think God calls all of us to fill different roles at different times and I think that he wanted Donald Trump to become president, and that's why he's there," she said in 2019.
In November's presidential elections, Trump won Arkansas with more than 62 percent of the vote.