(NewsNation) — The Arkansas governor’s race has been called by NewsNation/ Decision Desk HQ in favor of Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders squared off against Democrat Chris Jones for the job, which will be vacated by current Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, who has reached the state-set term limit and cannot run for reelection.
Sanders, the former press secretary for former President Donald Trump and daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, brings a big name and family ties to the campaign.
Sanders has held a wide, double-digit lead over her Democratic opponent and far out-raised and out-spent Jones through the entire election cycle. FiveThirtyEight’s polling showed Sander’s held a consistent and massive lead over Jones for months, which narrowed slightly in late October but not significantly.
During a debate between Sanders, Jones and Libertarian candidate Ricky Dale Harrington Jr., Sanders focused on taxes and education. She also defended the state’s ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors by saying, “Kids are not capable of making life-altering decisions like that.”
Jones, a nuclear engineer, rebuffed the ban in a debate last month, saying he would trust science and the decisions made by families.
Arkansas is one of 36 states electing their top executive officials during the 2022 midterm elections. Heading into election day 28 states were led by Republican governors, and 22 states had Democratic governors.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.