Several races for the state’s top elective offices in Arkansas would be laughable if the outcomes weren’t so serious.

Several include career politicians scurrying from race to race to ensure their continued feeding at the public trough.

Since Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced her candidacy for Arkansas governor, two of the previous Republican contenders dropped out of the race.

First was term-limited Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin, who switched early on to run for attorney general when he saw the writing on the wall. The current attorney general, Leslie Rutledge, who’s also term-limited, dropped out of the governor’s race earlier this week when it was noted that Sanders had a 57-point lead in the polls and had raised $11 million.

What’s a career politician to do?

Rutledge switched races and decided to run for lieutenant governor, a part-time job that basically has no job duties unless something happens to the governor. It’s simply a way for a term-limited career politician to secure a place setting at the public trough for another four to eight years until, hopefully, an office more desirable opens to continue the trend.

Just ask Griffin.

Rutledge is entering a Republican primary field that includes term-limited state Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway; former state Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb; Washington County Judge Joseph Wood; Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe; and wealth manager Chris Bequette. Kelly Krout is running as a Democrat.

It will be interesting to see who takes the seat that basically serves as a place keeper for a future run at an office that actually has some function and power.

One of the reasons our nation has become so divided is because we keep reelecting career politicians, who say a lot of things people want to hear but produce few results.

My Uncle Pickett, who died at the age of 99, always told me the key to successful government is never to vote for the same politician twice. I think he was on to something, but history has proven that’s rarely the case for most voters who cast ballots for a party and/or a name they are most familiar with. Thus, Sanders entry into the governor’s race.

On Friday morning, I had to laugh when I read an email sent to me by Griffin’s campaign, endorsing Sanders for governor.

“Sarah Huckabee Sanders has distinguished herself as a tough, principled leader with a big heart and bold vision for the future of Arkansas,” said Griffin. “I have known Sarah for many years, and I look forward to working with her as the next Governor of Arkansas. I am excited to endorse her: she has my complete and total support.”

Talk about sucking up. But, hey, it’s a way for Griffin to attract votes from Sanders supporters.

It’s ironic that once Rutledge, the last Republican, dropped out of the race, just about every Republican officeholder, including those from the Arkansas delegation in Congress, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and others, endorsed Sanders.

Now that’s really taking a stand.

As for her claim to fame, Sanders, who has never held public office, is a former press secretary of President Donald Trump and the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

By the way, what is Sanders’ “bold vision for the future of Arkansas”? I certainly haven’t heard or read anything about it. Mostly she talks about national issues that the governor of Arkansas has no say about.

With that $11 million campaign war chest, I’m hopeful Sanders will soon let Arkansans know what her bold vision of the future is for the Natural State. I would like to hear specific details instead of the usual boilerplate public relations statements. However, I won’t be too disappointed if it's more of the latter than the former.

Politicians don’t like to be pinned down on specifics if things don’t turn out the way they planned. Everyone remembers: “Read my lips: no new taxes.” It submarined the re-election of George H.W. Bush when he failed to keep that campaign promise. It helped usher in Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton as the nation’s 42nd president.

Besides, Sanders is a shoo-in for the governor’s mansion, her home away from home.

One thing I think most voters in the Natural State can expect from the upcoming election is that Republicans will continue to dominate every state office up for grabs. I find this particularly interesting when just a decade ago nearly every state public office holder was a Democrat and had been since reconstruction.

The views haven’t changed that much, just the labels.

Chris Wessel, editor of The Sun, can be reached at 935-5525, Ext. 250, or

Chris Wessel, editor of The Sun, can be reached at 935-5525, Ext. 250, or