Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the outgoing White House press secretary, wasn't finished with her final trip accompanying President Donald Trump to his campaign rally in Orlando on Tuesday before rumors of her likely run for Arkansas governor in 2022 began to sound more like a soft announcement.

Sanders and others apparently have been talking about the possibility of a gubernatorial run in Arkansas for months but that talk seems to be shaping up into a likely head start for a 2022 campaign.

Trump fanned those rumors when he publicly suggested her candidacy at the rally.

“I have a feeling she’s going to be running for a certain gubernatorial position,” Trump said before inviting Sanders onstage.

A review of the whois directory at shows the registration 34 days ago of two web domains: and Sanders, a native of Arkansas, has said she will be returning to the state upon leaving the White House.

Sanders is the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who also was a candidate for president in the Republican primaries in 2008 and 2016, and got her start in politics working on her father’s political campaigns. She was his national political director when he ran for president in 2008, and his campaign manager for his 2016 presidential run.

Sanders later co-founded an Arkansas consulting firm and advised Tom Cotton’s 2014 Senate campaign and Tim Pawlenty’s 2012 presidential campaign. In 2016, she joined the Trump campaign as a senior adviser before assuming the press duties at the White House.

While there appears to be growing anticipation of a Sanders run, some early skepticism among Arkansas Republicans also has surfaced. Critics wonder what her platform will be and suggest she may need to spend time reconnecting with the issues important to Arkansas voters. They also acknowledge the very real difference between being a spokesperson and serving constituents, adding Sanders has never held an elected office.

Still, Sanders has a lot going for her. She has access to her father’s political network, built over a decade as governor of the state, she will have access to Trump’s network, which is sizable in the state since he remains popular and trounced Hillary Clinton in Arkansas in 2016. Sanders also enjoys international name recognition after serving as Trump’s press secretary for nearly three years.

In addition, she managed Republican Sen. John Boozman’s 2010 campaign.

“She would be formidable if she were to get into the race,” longtime Arkansas political reporter Roby Brock said. 

“She’s got the Huckabee political machine, the Boozman political machine and the Trump political machine.”

Still, Sanders came under heavy criticism while at the White House, mostly for sparring with reporters and defending or deflecting for the president even after obvious missteps.

However, one Arkansas Republican consultant noted, “Her dad has been out of office for a long time here. He lost the state to Trump in the presidential campaign, so I don’t know that Sarah getting into the race is an automatic green light that she sort of walks right into the nomination.”