Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Sanders undergoes surgery for thyroid cancer

Sarah Sanders, Republican candidate for governor of Arkansas and former White House press secretary in the Trump administration, said Friday she underwent surgery to remove her thyroid gland after doctors discovered cancer at the beginning of the month.

Sanders, 40, said she was cancer-free and would return to the campaign trail.

“During a checkup earlier this month, my doctor ordered a biopsy on a concerning area of ​​my neck and the test revealed I had thyroid cancer,” Sanders said. “Today I had a successful operation to remove my thyroid and surrounding lymph nodes and by the grace of God I am now cancer free.”

Sanders included a statement from his doctor, John R. Sims, who said his cancer was “stage 1 papillary thyroid carcinoma,” which he described as the most common type of thyroid cancer. Sims said Sanders would need “adjuvant radioactive iodine therapy” and called his prognosis excellent.

Sanders, a native of Arkansas and daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (right), managed her father’s unsuccessful presidential run in 2016 before joining Donald Trump’s campaign as a senior adviser in communication. She also served as a spokesperson during Trump’s first presidential campaign.

She left the White House as press secretary in June 2019. At the time, Trump urged her to run for governor.

At the White House, she initially worked as first assistant to Sean Spicer, Trump’s first press secretary, until he stepped down in July 2017, when she assumed the role. She was the first working mother and only the third woman to serve as White House press secretary, as reported by The Associated Press.

During his debut, some praised his calm demeanor during daily press briefings – a stark contrast to Spicer. But Sanders quickly clashed with reporters, passionately defending Trump while confronting reporters — even when the information she provided was sometimes false.

One such case earned a note in Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on Russian election interference. In May 2017, Sanders claimed the White House had heard from “countless members of the FBI” supporting Trump’s decision to fire the FBI director. James B. Comey. She doubled down on her request the next day, insisting emails and text messages of support had flown in.

In Mueller’s report, however, she said under oath that the allegation was a “lapse.”

Announcing his candidacy for governor, Sanders said, “I took on the media, the radical left and their ‘cancel culture’, and I won. As governor, I will be your voice and I will never let them silence you.

She is heavily favored to win in November in the Republican-leaning state against Democrat Chris Jones.

Andrea Salcedo contributed to this report.

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