I’ve learned a bit more about the Sarah Sanders Super PAC that filed organizational papers the day after Donald Trump announced her coming departure as White House press secretary with his wishes that she run for Arkansas governor.
Trump, and then Sanders herself, said June 13 that she wanted to spend more time with family and was returning to Arkansas. She’s confirmed she’s thinking about a race for governor in 2022.
June 14, a Washington consultant, Patrick Krason, filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to form Draft Sarah Sanders for Arkansas. It’s a so-called Super PAC. It can raise unlimited sums, so long as it doesn’t directly coordinate with a candidate.
I talked with Krason by phone today. He says he’s 45 and turned from a career working for nonprofits into a specialist in campaign compliance. He said he was called “20 minutes” after Trump’s Tweet about Sanders to form a PAC to support her candidacy. He’s never met Sanders himself.
The backers, he said, are “strong Trump supporters,” or as he put it, “MAGA people.”
Said Krason: “They think she walks on water.”
They include people from Utah, the Midwest, Texas, Nevada and Arkansas.
The group, though it will seek money nationwide, will be Arkansas focused. A website, draftsarahforarkansas.com, should be operating in a few days, Krason said. State organizational papers are to be filed today or tomorrow. Soon, the Arkansas “face” of the organization will be announced, he said. He said it will be a name familiar to Arkansans.
Krason noted it’s still earlier for a 2022 race for governor. And he noted other potential strong candidates. He volunteered that he’d worked some years ago at the National Republican Committee with Leslie Rutledge, now attorney general and a potential gubernatorial candidate. “She’s fantastic.”
Krason said he last worked in Arkansas in 2010 for Princella Smith, a Republican candidate for 1st District Congress.
Krason said his work will be on the compliance end and others will do the political work. He said he anticipated a petition drive to demonstrate broad support for Sanders and other social media organizing.
PS: Sanders’ potential candidacy has revived the question about an Arkansas constitutional provision that requires a candidate for governor to have been a resident of the state for seven years. Does that mean continuously leading up to the election or cumulatively? When Bill Halter challenged Mike Beebe despite having spent time out of state in the seven-year period, he noted he’d maintained his Arkansas residency. When Jim Keet challenged Mike Beebe, the preceding seven years included time when Keet lived in Florida and registered to vote there. No legal challenge of his candidacy was mounted. Sanders obviously has lived the last two years in the D.C. area and she is not currently registered to vote in Pulaski County according to an online record search. She obviously has spent more than seven years of her life in Arkansas.