Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Leticia Sanders says she is endorsing Libertarian Mark West in the general election for Arkansas Governor, not her Democratic opponent Jared Henderson.
Henderson defeated Sanders by a 63-37% margin in the Democratic primary on May 22, 2018.
In a Facebook post dated June 2, 2018, Sanders asked her supporters to cast their votes for West.
“I am with him [West]. We are both on the same accord of views of how to make Arkansas great for the people in this state. I hope in the general election that my supporters that voted for me in the primary will change their votes for Mark West, the Libertarian,” she said.
West responded, “We are humbled and thankful for Leticia Sanders’ support of our campaign and looking forward to working together for the best of all Arkansans in the election ahead.”
Henderson issued this statement on Monday (June 4):
“My campaign is fighting for effective and substantial change as I bring to the table a background in public education and the private sector while providing 21st century ideas like making Arkansas the best place in the country to be a public school teacher, promoting small business growth across Arkansas, focusing on lowering the costs of health care and protecting our rural hospitals, and ending the cycle of poverty. I will continue to travel across the state and work to earn the endorsement of the voters of Arkansas,” Henderson said.
Sanders indicated in a primary debate with Henderson that she would support his candidacy if he won the nomination.
“Yes, I’ve already spoke to Jared about that. It was actually how I introduced myself to him. Letting him know that win, lose or draw I hope that we can work together. It’s more based on us being able to get along – that is what I’m working towards for us to unify as a whole. Whether I win or lose, he has me in his corner to make sure that we do what we need to do to make this state great,” Sanders said in a May 9th debate.
Henderson stopped short of endorsing Sanders in the debate saying, “My top goal in this campaign is to win.” He indicated that he and Sanders shared values and beliefs and wanted to help Democrats get elected. When pressed if he would endorse Sanders, Henderson responded, “We’ll see how the rest of the debate goes, but we agree on a lot.”
Henderson and West face Republican incumbent Gov. Asa Hutchinson in the November general election. Hutchinson is unlikely to receive the endorsement of his primary opponent, Jan Morgan, who has said publicly she would not endorse him if he won the GOP primary.