OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Arkansas GOP gubernatorial nominee Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ campaign announced some good news for the candidate on Thursday.
Sanders said she is “grateful” to be able to return to the campaign trail after being treated for thyroid cancer. In an interview Thursday evening with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Sanders said she left the campaign trail after being diagnosed over Labor Day weekend to have surgery, removing her thyroid and surrounding lymph nodes.
“I feel great. I’m incredibly blessed to have had this caught early by the grace of God and amazing doctors and nurses who gave me world-class care here in Arkansas. I’m now cancer-free,” Sanders said. “I’m grateful to have that behind me, be back on the campaign trail, and I had some great moments of perspective on everything that really matters in life.”
The former Trump administration press secretary went on to say that her father, former Arkansas GOP Gov. Mike Huckabee, has been a major source of hope, inspiration, and counsel for her throughout her campaign and treatment.
“He’s an incredible source of encouragement, a great resource throughout this process, and certainly so helpful in everything that I’m doing,” she said of her father. “I think no one will be happier for me to take the claim of best governor of Arkansas than he will.”
“During a check-up earlier this month, my doctor ordered a biopsy on an area of concern in my neck and the test revealed that I had thyroid cancer,” the frontrunner to succeed GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement last month following her procedures. “Today, I underwent a successful surgery to remove my thyroid and surrounding lymph nodes and by the grace of God I am now cancer-free.
“I want to thank the Arkansas doctors and nurses for their world-class care, as well as my family and friends for their love, prayers, and support. I look forward to returning to the campaign trail soon. This experience has been a reminder that whatever battle you may be facing, don’t lose heart. As governor, I will never quit fighting for the people of our great state,” she added.
In a separate statement, Sanders’ physician, Dr. John R. Sims, M.D., the Head and Neck Oncologic and Microvascular Reconstructive Surgeon at CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock, noted:
“Sarah is currently recovering from surgery in which we removed her thyroid gland and some of the surrounding lymph nodes in her neck. The surgery went extremely well, and I expect her to be back on her feet even within the next 24 hours. This is a Stage I papillary thyroid carcinoma which is the most common type of thyroid cancer and has an excellent prognosis. While she will need adjuvant treatment with radioactive iodine, as well as continued long term follow up, I think it’s fair to say she’s now cancer free, and I don’t anticipate any of this slowing her down.”
Sanders easily won the GOP primary in May, taking 83 percent of the vote. She was Trump’s first political endorsement when she announced her candidacy Jan. 25, 2021, just days after President Joe Biden was inaugurated.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 25, 2022
“Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a warrior who will always fight for the people of Arkansas and do what is right, not what is politically correct,” Trump said at the time. “Sarah will be a GREAT governor and she has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”
The Daily Wire noted:
She smashed the state record for fundraising during the primary, raking in $9.1 million dollars from more than 67,000 donors by July 2021. In addition to the Trump endorsement, she is also endorsed by current Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, her father, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Arkansas Republican Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, all four of Arkansas’ members of the U.S. House, as well as former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Donald Trump Jr.
Sanders will face off against nuclear engineer and minister Chris Jones in the 2022 election.