HAttorney General Leslie Rutledge finally bowed to the overwhelming poll indications that she’d lose a race for governor in the Republican primary against Sarah Huckabee Sanders and quit the race, opting to run for the meaningless position of lieutenant governor instead.

Her release (paid for by her gubernatorial campaign, I’d note):

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Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced her candidacy for Lieutenant Governor. Rutledge’s decision ends her gubernatorial bid which she launched in July of 2020.

“Since announcing my candidacy for governor, I have been blessed by an outpouring of support from Arkansans in every community. At this crossroads in our country’s history, now is a time for Christian conservative leaders to unite and fight together against those who wish to destroy the America we know and love. Today, I am announcing my campaign for Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas. Over the last 7 years as the Attorney General, I have successfully fought Obama and Biden’s overreach, made Arkansas the most pro life state, defended our Second Amendment rights, kept Critical Race Theory out of our schools, and  kept biological boys out of girls’ sports. I have already taken over 60 legal actions against the Biden Administration, including challenging the illegal vaccine mandate. As Lt. Governor, I will stay on the frontlines fighting for Arkansans’ constitutional rights and protecting our conservative values,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

“Sarah Sanders has been a friend for many years, and I know that as Governor she will stand strong against the onslaught of the liberal Left’s attack on our home state. As the Lt. Governor, I will work alongside Sarah as Governor to make transformational changes in Arkansas to protect our rights and ensure top notch educational opportunities, lower taxes, and job creation. I am a hardworking, Christian, pro-life, gun-carrying conservative momma and wife to a farmer, and I will never stop fighting for the future of Arkansas.

Cover your ears, Arkansas there is going to be more glass ceilings shattered next November!”

 

Polls showed Sanders with a commanding lead, not to mention an enormous edge in money ($9.1 million to $1.4 million) thanks to her fund-raising nationally among Trump supporters. Sanders, who’s nationalized this race on the Trump agenda as his former designated liar and made few Arkansas appearances and virtually no press interviews: now has no primary opponent and can spend an unprecedented amount on the general election race against the Democratic nominee, a race now including Chris Jones, Rus Russell, Supha Mays and Anthony Bland. Jones has had great success in fund-raising among Democrats.

The race for lieutenant governor now looks like the most entertaining on the Arkansas political agenda.

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There’s Rutledge. There’s Washington County Judge Joseph Wood, an Ecclesia College supporter and spawn of the Republican secretary of state cesspool of recent years. There’s certified extremist nutcake, Chris Bequette. There’s Bible-beating Sen. Jason Rapert (decried by Bequette as a RINO.) There’s former Republican Party chair Doyle Webb, who briefly held a fat job on Rutledge’s staff as redistricting advisor. There’s Gregory Bledsoe of the famous public nozzle suckling clan.  The Democrats have the delightful TikTok star Kelly Krout.

Note Rutledge emphasizes, implicitly, that she’s the only woman in the Republican field. It’s a good time to be a woman candidate if you believe the polls.

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Said Huckabee Sanders:

“I want to thank @LeslieRutledge for her leadership. I look forward to uniting Arkansans behind my vision to grow our economy and create high-paying jobs, increase access to quality education, and deliver bold, conservative reforms that take our state to the top.”

 

Chris Jones weighs in:

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“The Chris Jones campaign is laser-focused on the people of Arkansas and issues we face on a daily basis: access to safe roads and clean drinking water; availability of high quality public schools; good-paying jobs and economic development that uplifts all communities across our state. Chris will continue engaging Arkansans and sharing his vision for a place his family has called home for over 200 years.

“We would love a healthy exchange of ideas but Sarah Sanders had made it clear that she is more focused on division and doing what’s best for the connected few and her national reputation, and that’s the truth. We have pressing challenges here in our state and being Governor is a job that has an immediate direct impact on people’s lives. Arkansans need someone they can trust in office. Voters now have a clear choice.”