Sarah Huckabee Sanders sworn in as Arkansas governor

Jan 9, 2023, 7:06 AM | Updated: Jan 10, 2023, 3:32 pm
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders poses for a picture with husband Bryan and children Scarlett, ...

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders poses for a picture with husband Bryan and children Scarlett, Huck, and George after taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)

(AP Photo/Will Newton)

              Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders poses for a picture with husband Bryan and children Scarlett, Huck, and George after taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders poses for a picture with husband Bryan and children Scarlett, Huck, and George after taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders reacts towards the crowd prior to taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders reacts towards the crowd prior to taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders' son, George, holds a sticker reading "Governor Sanders", as his mother speaks after taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas governor-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders is introduced with husband Brian, and children Scarlett, George, and Huck prior to taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas governor-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders is introduced with husband Brian, and children Scarlett, George, and Huck prior to taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas governor-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks after taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas governor-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks after taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, flanked by her children Scarlett, Huck and George, poses for a picture with supporters after taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, flanked by her children Scarlett, Huck and George, poses for a picture with supporters after taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders takes the oath of the office administered by 8th Circuit Court judge Brian Miller on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol with husband Bryan and children Huck, Scarlett and George, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders takes the oath of the office administered by 8th Circuit Court judge Brian Miller on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol with husband Bryan and children Huck, Scarlett and George, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks after taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks after taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas governor-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks after taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas governor-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders is introduced with husband Brian, and children Scarlett, George, and Huck prior to taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders takes the oath of the office administered by 8th Circuit Court judge Brian Miller on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol with husband Bryan and children Huck, Scarlett and George, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks after taking the oath of the office on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
            
              FILE - Arkansas Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during her election night party, Nov. 8, 2022, in Little Rock, Ark. Sanders will be sworn in as Arkansas' 47th governor on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, becoming the first woman to hold the post in her home state. (AP Photo/Will Newton, File)
            
              Workers set up the stage on the Arkansas state Capitol steps in Little Rock, Ark., on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, for the inauguration ceremony of Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Sanders will be sworn in on Tuesday, Jan. 10, as Arkansas' 47th governor and the first woman to hold the post in her state. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took aim at conservatives’ favorite targets, including critical race theory and the federal government, as she was sworn in Tuesday as Arkansas’ 47th governor and the first woman in the state to hold the office.

The Republican didn’t mention former President Donald Trump or current President Joe Biden in a pair of speeches marking her inauguration. But she echoed many of the themes from her successful bid for governor, which she won in November after focusing heavily on national issues and her time in the Trump White House.

The 40-year-old Sanders, whose father Mike Huckabee served as governor for more than a decade, portrayed herself as part of a new crop of leaders for her home state.

“A turning point in the history of Arkansas will usher in a new era of good jobs, great schools, safer streets and stronger families,” Sanders said in a 15-minute speech before a joint session of the House and Senate. “The people of Arkansas, in their vast wisdom, have entrusted a new generation to lead. This is our moment. This is our opportunity.”

Shortly after her inauguration, Sanders signed seven executive orders including one that she said would prevent public schools from teaching critical race theory, a way of thinking about America’s history through the lens of racism. Sanders did not say whether any schools in the state are currently teaching the theory, which has been the focus of bans advocated by Republicans in other states.

“As long as I am governor, our schools will focus on the skills our children need to get ahead in the modern world, not brainwashing our children with a left-wing political agenda,” she said during a 22-minute inaugural address on the Capitol steps.

She also vowed to the state’s farmers and small business owners that “the meddling hand of big government creeping down from Washington D.C. will be stopped cold at the Mississippi River.”

“We will get the over-regulating, micromanaging, bureaucratic tyrants off of your backs, out of your wallets and out of your lives,” she said.

With her inauguration, Sanders becomes the most well-known former Trump official in elected office. She left the White House in 2019 to return to her home state after serving nearly two years as press secretary. Trump had endorsed Sanders’ bid for governor and was featured prominently in her campaign materials.

She’s mostly avoided weighing in on the former president since November, and has not said whether she supports his third run for the White House.

Sanders’ victory came in an election where Republicans expanded their supermajorities in the state House and Senate. Republicans also hold every statewide and federal office in the state. The Legislature kicked off this year’s session Monday.

In her speeches Tuesday, Sanders offered few details on an education reform measure she’s said is her top priority. Sanders said the measure will expand pre-kindergarten, improve literacy rates and prepare students for the workplace. She also indicated it would include some form of using public money to pay for private schooling or home schooling.

“Let’s give parents a greater role in education, including the right to choose the school that’s best for their child, whether it’s public, private or parochial,” she said.

She repeated her support for raising teacher pay, although she did not give a specific amount. State House and Senate committees have recommended giving teachers $4,000 raises.

Democrats said they were encouraged by Sanders’ support for teacher raises and expanding pre-K, but criticized her calls to root out what she calls “indoctrination” in schools.

“Arkansas Democrats stand with our teachers and know they are first and foremost much too busy grading papers, buying their own supplies, and making lesson plans to indoctrinate anyone,” the party said in a statement.

Other executive orders Sanders signed Tuesday include a freeze on most government hiring and on new government rules and regulations.

Sanders said she wanted to begin phasing out the state’s income tax, which has been cut over the past several years, although she did not specify the amount she wants to cut it by this year. She takes office with the state sitting on more than $2 billion in reserves. She also repeated her call for a public safety plan that includes new prison space.

Sanders is succeeding Asa Hutchinson, who leaves office after eight years due to term limits. Hutchinson, a Republican, is considering running for president. He has said Trump winning the GOP nomination again would be the “worst scenario” for his party.

Aside from Hutchinson and her father, other former Arkansas governors attending Sanders’ inauguration included Democrats Mike Beebe and David Pryor, who is also a former senator.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Protesters gather in front of police headquarters while marching Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Memphi...
Associated Press

Memphis police disband unit that fatally beat Tyre Nichols

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis police chief disbanded the city’s so-called Scorpion unit on Saturday, citing a “cloud of dishonor” from newly released video that showed some of its officers beating Tyre Nichols to death after stopping the Black motorist. Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis acted a day after the harrowing video emerged, saying […]
1 day ago
FILE - The Chinese Embassy is pictured in Tokyo on Jan. 11, 2023. China announced it was resuming i...
Associated Press

China announces resumption of visas for Japanese

TOKYO (AP) — China announced it was resuming issuing visas for Japanese travelers beginning Sunday, ending its nearly three-week suspension in an apparent protest of Tokyo’s tougher COVID-19 entry requirements for tourists from China. The decision was announced in a statement posted on the Chinese Embassy’s website. China stopped issuing new visas in Japan on […]
1 day ago
FILE - Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi leaves the Conservative Party head office in Westm...
Associated Press

UK leader fires party chairman over tax bill allegations

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak fired the chairman of his ruling Conservative Party Sunday over a “serious breach” of the ministerial code. Pressure had been building on Nadhim Zahawi amid allegations he settled a multimillion-dollar unpaid tax bill while he was in charge of the country’s Treasury. In a letter to Zahawi, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Turkey issues travel warning to Europe following protests

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey issued a travel warning late Saturday for its citizens living in or planning on going to European countries, citing Islamophobia and anti-Turkish demonstrations. The warning comes after last weekend’s protests in Sweden where an anti-Islam activist burned the Quran and pro-Kurdish groups protested against Turkey. The Turkish foreign ministry urged its […]
1 day ago
Oleksandra Hryhoryna inspects her house which was damaged by shelling last fall in Kalynivske, Ukra...
Associated Press

Russians gone from Ukraine village, fear and hardship remain

KALYNIVSKE, Ukraine (AP) — When night falls in Tatiana Trofimenko’s village in southern Ukraine, she pours sunflower oil that aid groups gave her into a jar and seals it with a wick-fitted lid. A flick of a match, and the make-do candle is lit. “This is our electricity,” Trofimenko, 68, says. It has been over […]
1 day ago
Rescue workers collect remains from the burnt wreckage of a bus accident in Bela, an area of Lasbel...
Associated Press

Passenger bus in Pakistan crashes, catches fire killing 40

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A passenger bus crashed into a pillar and fell off a bridge, catching fire and killing 40 people in southern Pakistan on Sunday, a government official said. The bus was carrying 44 passengers from Quetta in Balochistan province to Karachi in neighboring Sindh province. The accident was near the town of […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders sworn in as Arkansas governor