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'19 Kids and Counting' star Jed Duggar runs for office in Arkansas, vows to defend religious liberty

'19 Kids and Counting' star Jed Duggar runs for office in Arkansas, vows to defend religious liberty

"Counting On" star Jed Duggar, 20, has announced his candidacy for Arkansas state representative. | jedduggar.com

Jed Duggar, one of the stars of the TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting,” has announced his candidacy for Arkansas state representative. 

“I’m announcing my candidacy for Arkansas State Representative District 89 in Springdale,” the 20-year-old said in an Instagram post Monday. “I’d appreciate your prayers, support and your vote!

“I’m a Conservative. Pro-Life. Pro Second Amendment. Pro Religious Liberty. Combat the Opioid Crisis. Lower Taxes. More Jobs & Growth. Strong Economy.” 

Duggar, the 10th of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s 19 biological children, further explained his platform in a video.

“Northwest Arkansas is the economic engine of our state, our local jobs and state economy depend on elected officials that take a common-sense, business approach to legislative reforms. I will fight for sound fiscal policies and tax relief for all Arkansans,” Duggar stated.

The Arkansans native, who is currently on the “19 Kids and Counting” spinoff series “Counting On” alongside his siblings, pledged that he “will unequivocally advocate for conservative values.”

“I am a Christian and I will stand up for religious liberty, I am pro-life and will be an advocate for the unborn, and I will always defend our Second Amendment.”

“With your support, I will be a strong, conservative voice in Little Rock for District 89,” he said, reminding his followers that “Election Day is November 3, 2020!” 

According to his website, Duggar was most recently the campaign manager for Senator Bob Ballinger’s successful 2018 State Senate bid. Prior to that, he served as a legislative assistant at the Arkansas State Capitol during the 2017 legislation session.  

Duggar, a member of the National Rifle Association, describes the Second Amendment as “crystal clear.”

“I am a lifelong supporter of the 2nd Amendment and I believe it is crystal clear. As your voice in Little Rock, I will defend our right to keep and bear arms and I will take a stand against liberal judges who trample on our God-given constitutional rights,” he said on his website. “In addition, I believe sportsmen and hunters are a vital part of environmental sustainability and their contributions to local wildlife conservation across our state must be protected.” 

Duggar received an outpouring of support from social media users, including well wishes from various members of his family.

“Good luck, bro!” Jill Duggar Dillard wrote in the comment section of her brother’s announcement post.

Jana Duggar, Jim Bob and Michelle’s oldest daughter, voiced her support. “It was an honor to go to the Arkansas State Capitol today to watch my brother @jed_duggar file as a candidate for House District 89. I’m so proud of the man he is and the heart he has for serving the community of Springdale!” she wrote on Instagram. 

The Duggar family rose to fame on the television show “19 Kids and Counting,” which documented the family’s lives from 2008 to 2015. Self-described “independent Baptists,” the family regularly touted their conservative Christian beliefs. 

The family also has a history in politics: Patriarch Jim Bob Duggar served as a Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002.  

Over the years, the Duggars have also hit the campaign trail for a number of conservative politicians, including Mike Huckabee, Ken Cuccinelli and Todd Akin, notes The Washington Post. 

“19 Kids and Counting” ended in July 2015 after Josh Duggar, Jim Bob and Michelle’s eldest son, admitted he molested multiple young girls as a teenager, including two of his sisters. Josh Duggar later apologized and resigned from his job at the conservative lobbying firm Family Research Council.

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