Jedidiah Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting fame has announced that he is running for a seat the Arkansas House of Representatives — 20 years after his father Jim Bob Duggar served two terms in the same government body.
The 20-year-old shared the news on Instagram on November 3, just days after getting an account, and added more information about his newly-launched campaign on his website.
‘I will fight for sound economic policies, push for more tax relief for all Arkansans, and advocate for conservative values,’ he said. ‘I am a Christian and I will stand up for religious liberty, I am pro-life and I will be an advocate for the unborn, and I will always defend our Second Amendment.’
Running: Jedidiah Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting fame has announced that he is running for a seat the Arkansas House of Representatives
Campaigning: Jed is running as a Republican to represent Arkansas’ 89th district and espouses conservative values on his website
Jed is running as a Republican to represent Arkansas’ 89th district, which includes Tontitown, where he lives with his parents and 10 of his siblings, including twin brother Jeremiah. In fact, he, his twin, and four of their younger brothers still share a bedroom in the house.
‘I have grown up in the Springdale area all my life and as a local small-business owner, I understand the important issues facing the residents and businesses of District 89,’ he said in a campaign video.
On his website, Jed touts his qualifications, highlighting his role as the owner of Champion Motorcars in Springdale.
He also lists Christian mission trips he has taken taken and details his participation at church.
His political experience includes working as a campaign manager for Senator Bob Ballinger’s 2018 State Senate bid, as well as serving as a legislative assistant at the Arkansas State Capitol during the 2017 legislation session.
Jed, who is the 10th of 19 children, promises he is ‘pro-business, pro-family, and is committed to putting Springdale’s conservative values first.’
His website also lays out his stances on several issues, which all fall in line with religious conservatism.
Anti-abortion: He describes himself as ‘100% pro-life’ and says he will ‘protect the lives of the unborn’
Pro-gun: The NRA member says he wants to protect ‘our God-given constitutional rights’
Jed, an evangelical Christian, seems to be in favor of businesses refusing to make cakes for LGBTQ weddings, and refusing to cover birth control in healthcare plans
While Jed and his family don’t even partake in alcoholic beverages, he feels strongly about preventing opioid addiction with faith-based programs
His website says he will work to lower taxes in Arkansas
He also wants to create jobs by pushing back on ‘burdensome regulations that hurt out small businesses’
‘I am a Christian and pro-life conservative who values the fact that life begins at conception,’ he said, promising to champion the ‘un-born.’
‘I believe every human life is created in God’s image, and we must stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves.’
On guns, the NRA member said: ‘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 promises to work to lower taxes and ‘fight to keep government out of the way and push back on burdensome regulations that hurt our small businesses.’
Jed, who was raised in an evangelical household, also wrote a lengthy passage about religious liberty.
‘People of faith understand that worship is not only confined to the four walls of church, it must be lived out in our daily life. Business owners and employees should never be forced to choose between violating their religious conscience and breaking the law,’ he said.
Finally, he lamented the opioid crisis and shared his intention to fix it with the help of religious programs.
The 20-year-old, who lives with his parents in Tontitown, just joined Instagram last month
Jed (far right) still shares a bedroom with his younger brothers (also pictured with older sister Joy Anna)
Jed touts his qualifications, highlighting his role as a business owner. He also lists Christian mission trips he has taken taken and details his participation at church
‘We must combat this issue head on by promoting educational initiatives and working with non-profit and faith-based programs that encourage prevention, recovery and rehabilitation.’
He is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent Megan Godfrey, a Democrat and mother of two with a PhD, who worked as a teacher before going into politics
The election is still a year away, during which time he’ll make his case for winning the Republican nomination and replacing first-term incumbent Megan Godfrey, a Democrat.
Godfrey herself had just narrowly unseated Republican State Representative Jeff Williams last November, winning 1,857 votes to his 1,827.
Jed and his immediate family in Arkansas who are over age 18 have 21 votes among them.
Godfrey, 35, is a married mother of two with a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Arkansas. She previously worked as a teacher, and now serves on a subcommittee on higher education.
Higher education is unlikely to be a point of focus for Jed, who was home-schooled by his mother.
Michelle held home-school sessions for three to four hours a day, enlisting the older ones to teach the younger ones. She wrote in a blog post for TLC that she picked a ‘Christian-based curriculum — one in which there’s a lot of character emphasis, character building like responsibility, honesty, self control.’
Jed’s dad Jim Bob Duggar previously held a seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1998 to 2002 (pictured in May 2002)
He and his wife Michelle Duggar have been outspoken in supporting Republican candidates and Republican-backed bills
Jim Bob and his oldest son, sex pest Josh, are pictured with Mike Huckabee, who spoke out in support of the family after Josh’s sex scandals
Huckabee has called them his ‘friends,’ saying of Josh: ‘Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things.’
Jed’s announcement has him following in the footsteps of his father Jim Bob, 54, who served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002, representing District 6.
He was vice chair of the House Corrections and Criminal Law Subcommittee during that time, and also ran on a conservative values platform.
In 2002, he decided to leave the House and ran in the Republican primary election for a seat in the United States Senate, but lost in the primary to incumbent Senator Tim Hutchinson, with a vote of 71,576 to 20,546
In 2006, he also lost a race for the Arkansas State Senate and has not returned to politics in an official capacity, though he has supported numerous political campaigns.
Josh aspired to have a career in politics in his 20s (pictured with his wife Anna and former Senator Rick Santorum
Josh and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas (left); Josh and Anna with Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and his wife Anna (right)
Josh (pictured with Jeb Bush in 2015) took a job as executive director of FRC Action, a conservative political action and lobbying group where he engaged in ‘taking the message of faith, family and freedom all across America’
Josh with Sarah and Bristol Palin (left); Josh’s son Michael with Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin (right)
Whoops: He came out against abortion and in favor of other conservative values before admitting to cheating on his wife in 2015
Jim Bob’s oldest son, Josh, 31, was the next to go into politics, though his career was short-lived, getting derailed by a series of sex scandals.
He worked as a part-time political consultant in 2007, and in 2008 worked on the Republican presidential primary campaign of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
He also campaigned for presidential candidate Rick Santorum in 2012, telling a crowd: ‘Our family is like the epitome of conservative values. People connect to us in that way.’
Finally, he took a job as executive director of FRC Action, a conservative political action and lobbying group where he engaged in ‘taking the message of faith, family and freedom all across America.’
But Josh left his job in 2015 after InTouch revealed that he had molested five little girls — including four of his younger sisters — when he was a teenager. Soon after, Josh was discovered to have an account on the adultery website Ashley Madison, and he admitted to being unfaithful to his wife and watching pornography.
‘I have been the biggest hypocrite ever,’ he said in a public statement at the time. ‘While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.’
He added: ‘The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country while hiding my own personal failings.
John David Duggar (pictured with pregnant wife Abbie) is a local Constable
The Duggars are all pretty politically minded, though none explicitly shared who they voted for in the 2016 election (pictured Josiah and Lauren voting in 2018)
Bible stuff: However, their publicly-stated beliefs about abortion, guns, and LGBTQ rights indicate that most if not all are Republicans
Second-oldest son John David, 29, is also an elected official, serving as a Constable. He ran as a Republican.
Otherwise, the family’s political activism has come down to voting and supporting conservative candidates.
In 2015, matriarch Michelle, 52, came under public scrutiny for recording a transphobic robocall in opposition to an anti-discrimination bill in Arkansas.
‘Hello, this is Michelle Duggar,’ she said in the recording. ‘I’m calling to inform you of some shocking news that would affect the safety of Northwest Arkansas women and children.
’The Fayetteville City Council is voting on an ordinance this Tuesday night that would allow men – yes, I said men – to use women’s and girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas and other areas that are designated for females only.
‘I don’t believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls.
‘I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space.
‘Parents, who do you want undressing next to your daughter at the public swimming pool’s private changing area?’
She and Jim Bob also had all of their kids record a campaign video endorsing Rick Santorum in 2012.
Planting ideas: Josh Duggar’s wife Anna revealed on Instagram that Justin Duggar used some creative landscaping to campaign for Trump in the 2020 election
Grab ’em by the lawn mower! Justin, 16, is the 14th of 19 kids and is not yet old enough to vote
But Jed may not be the last Duggar to run for office. While the women in his family don’t have careers, he still has several younger brothers who could decide to run for office some day.
His 16-year-old brother Justin, in particular, has expressed an interest in politics.
In September, Northwest Arkansas’ CBS affiliate 5NEWS shared an image of a local highway taken from above, showing the words ‘TRUMP 2020’ mowed and burned into the grass along the side of the road.
Though they didn’t identify the political landscaper responsible for the message, oldest son Josh Duggar’s wife Anna soon shared the post and credited her teenage brother-in-law Justin for the grassy shout-out.
‘Looks like Justin’s lawn “art” is picking up some local attention,’ Anna, 30, wrote in an Instagram Story post.
She added a trio of emojis including an American flag, a laughing face, and a shushing face.
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