Although Arkansas has advanced in many areas under eight years of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s conservative leadership, I believe we have just launched a period of positive transformation like none before. This week’s inauguration of Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders promises to be a threshold of bold new ideas and initiatives that will showcase our state as the bellwether of conservative culture. Here’s why.
Governor Sanders began her career in politics in 2002 at the age of 20 when she worked in her father’s gubernatorial campaign. After graduating from Ouachita Baptist University, she served on President Bush’s presidential campaign, then again worked for her father in his 2008 bid for President. Since her appointment as President Trump’s press secretary six years ago, I have been intrigued by her wisdom, character, and leadership qualities. My wife, Linda, and I attended her swearing in and inaugural address on January 10. Her inspiring speech laid out her priorities and challenges for Arkansans.
The next day, after some immediate executive orders to eradicate the most inane woke atrocities that have been foisted on the state, Sanders acted on her first priority of education reform. She nominated Jacob Oliva, a top executive in the Florida Department of Education, as Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Education. His first priority is to overhaul the state’s education system from kindergarten to the universities. Much of this will be in line with that of Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis’s education advancements. Governor Sanders plans to “expand access to quality education for every kid, empower parents, and prepare students for the workforce.” She is going to foster legislation that would expand school choice and provide further student access to private and charter schools as well as home schooling. Arkansas currently ranks 47th in overall education. Great strides in our schools would positively affect about every aspect of Arkansans’ quality of life.
She promises to make public safety one of her highest priorities and to ensure our law enforcement officers will have the respect, the resources, and the authority they need to reduce crime substantially. Criminals arrested will not be released prematurely, and a new prison will be built on her watch. Sanders vows to protect our citizens by being tough on crime as a top priority. Arkansas is fourth in the country for violent crime incidents. Sanders is committed to greatly improve that abysmal status.
Throwing another gauntlet down on her inaugural day, she was adamant about phasing out the state income tax. She believes this would bolster the economy with new industry and lower inflation. Eight states presently have no personal income tax including Texas and Tennessee, and they are all thriving economically. Arkansas’ economy is ranked number 41 in the nation. Sanders is Lasor-focused on Arkansas’ economic growth.
The 47th governor of Arkansas acknowledged her “firsts” as: first woman governor of Arkansas, youngest current governor in America, and the nation’s first ever female governor child of a former governor. However, she declared, “I’m not interested in being first in anything; I’m interested in leading Arkansas to be first in everything.” That’s a powerful soundbite, but I sense such a determined attitude will bode well for our state. It’s probably time to entrust our future highest office governance to a millennial with strong conservative values, fresh ideas, and abundant drive. I love the natural beauty of Arkansas and its wonderful people. But, quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of being among the bottom ten states for almost everything that counts. So, Madam Governor, lead on!