Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the new White House press secretary.
This was announced on the afternoon of July 21st, hours after Sean Spicer resigned from his position. He reportedly resigned because he was unhappy with Anthony Scaramucci being hired as communications director. However, there had been rumors about Spicer being replaced for weeks, with speculation running rampant that Sarah Huckabee Sanders would be his replacement.
It wasn’t entirely clear whether this would happen, as Politico reported in June that Sanders had said privately that she did not want the job. Still, during the press briefing on July 21st, Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci said Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be the new press secretary; she is being promoted from deputy press secretary.
Here’s everything you need to know about Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the new White House press secretary.
1. She is the Daughter of Mike Huckabee
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the daughter of Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas who ran for president several times including in 2016 against Donald Trump. Her mother is Janet Huckabee.
According to TIME, Janet Huckabee is a former employee of Red Cross in Little Rock, and Sarah learned her organizational skills from Janet. Sarah Huckabee Sanders also told TIME that her father is her political hero.
“He’s an amazing politician, but an even better parent,” Sanders said. “Everyday he challenges me to be a better person and I will forever be grateful for that.”
Sarah’s two brothers are David Huckabee and John Mark Huckabee. David Huckabee is a mortgage broker who worked on his father’s 2008 presidential campaign. In 2007, it was reported in several media outlets that David had at the age of 17 been dismissed from the Boy Scouts after allegedly torturing a dog. Mike Huckabee told Newsweek at the time that his son did not engage in “intentional torture.”
2. She Worked on All Three of Her Father’s Presidential Campaigns
Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ worked on her father’s campaign for re-election as governor of Arkansas in 2002. That year, Huckabee was challenged by Democrat Jimmie Lou Fisher, but Huckabee was re-elected with 53 percent of the vote.
Sanders later worked as national political director for her father’s 2008 presidential campaign. During the Republican presidential primaries that cycle, Huckabee actually won the Iowa caucus, and he did well on Super Tuesday, but after that, John McCain began winning pretty much every state, and it became clear that McCain would be the nominee. Huckabee pulled out of the race on March 4th, 2008.
In a TIME profile of Sarah Huckabee Sanders written in December 2007, Sanders says that she was working up to 90 hours per week for her dad’s campaign. She often served as a surrogate for her father in key states across the country, including Iowa.
In the 2016 cycle, Sarah Huckabee Sanders served as campaign manager for her father’s presidential bid. Mike Huckabee did not do nearly as well in 2016 as he did in 2008, and he dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucus.
3. She Also Worked on George W. Bush’s Re-election Campaign in 2004
In addition to her father’s presidential campaigns, Sarah Huckabee Sanders also worked on the 2004 re-election campaign of George W. Bush.
Specifically, she was the field coordinator for Bush’s re-election campaign in Ohio. That year, the race in Ohio was quite tight, but George W. Bush ended up defeating John Kerry by margin of 2.1 percentage points.
Mike Huckabee did not run for president in 2012, and so during that cycle, Sarah Huckabee Sanders served as an advisor to Tim Pawlenty.
4. She Was a Senior Advisor to Donald Trump During the 2016 Election
After her father dropped out of the race in February 2016, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was hired to be a senior advisor to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Later that month, she said on CNN that politicians and pundits need to stop criticizing Trump supporters because they are the heart of America.
“I keep hearing all these pundits and people from the media and other politicians talking about how bad Donald Trump is for America and, in particular, how bad people are that support Donald Trump,” she told CNN. “My thing is that they’re not bad for America, they are America…They are hard-working, God-fearing people who are sick and tired of the government stepping all over them and they want someone to help just clear the path and get government out of the way.”
In a September 2016 interview on CNN, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked if Trump will ever apologize for his rhetoric about Latinos, and Sanders said that he doesn’t need to because Latinos will vote for him.
“I think that a lot of the Latinos will eventually come on board and support Donald Trump,” she said. “Because at the end of the day, I think there are a lot of things they care about. And that’s the economy and that’s national security. And those are things that Americans trust Donald Trump on infinitely more than they trust Hillary Clinton.”
When Donald Trump was elected president, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was hired as deputy White House press secretary.
5. She Is Married to Bryan Chatfield Sanders
Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ husband is Bryan Chatfield Sanders, who worked as Mike Huckabee’s media consultant during the 2016 presidential campaign. Sarah and Bryan were married in May 2010 at the Nazareth Lutheran Church on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, according Arkansas Online.
Bryan Chatfield Sanders works as a partner at Second Street Strategies, a political consulting firm that he started with his wife Sarah. In addition to the Mike Huckabee campaign, Bryan Sanders has also worked on the campaigns of Robert Bentley, Ted Yoho, Dan Patrick, French Hill, Scott Pruitt, Trent Franks, and Lynn Fitch.
Sarah and Bryan have three children, and they live in Arlington, Virginia.