LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A Huckabee is set to return to the governor’s mansion after Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders won her race for Arkansas governor.
The Associated Press declared Huckabee Sanders the winner in the race within a minute of Arkansas polls closing at 7:30 p.m.
She will set several first-time historical precedents when she takes office in January, including being the first female governor of Arkansas and the first child of a former governor to assume the seat. Her father, Gov. Mike Huckabee, held office from 1996 to 2007.
Her victory also marks the first time Arkansas has elected back-to-back Republican governors since Reconstruction.
“However it was going to turn out,” Huckabee Sanders said in her acceptance speech, “Arkansas was going to make history tonight.”
If either of her opponents had won, Democrat Chris Jones or Libertarian Ricky Dale Harrington, they would have been the first Black governor in Arkansas history.
The governor-elect thanked her campaign staff in her acceptance speech and recalled experiences and people she met along the way.
“More than 10,000 miles and 75 counties and here we are,” she said from the podium. “I will forever be grateful to each of you and I promise I won’t let you down.”
“I look forward to being Arkansas’s next governor for the next eight years,” Huckabee Sanders said in closing her acceptance speech, hinting at political seasons to come.
As of 9 p.m., Jones had not delivered a concession speech, citing voters still in line at some vote centers. At 9:30 p.m. he addressed his supporters with the words “It ain’t over y’all.”
The Pulaski County Clerk’s office has confirmed voters are still in line at 9:30 p.m.