As Josh Duggar Awaits Child Pornography Trial, Jim Bob Duggar Announced Candidacy For Local Government

The Duggar family has been at the center of a multitude of negative-skewing news stories in recent years, almost entirely related to accused molester Josh Duggar, who is currently awaiting trial for multiple charges regarding child pornography. It appears that the former reality TV clan’s Jim Bob Duggar is attempting to pull some of the spotlight back into more positive territory, as he has announced his upcoming candidacy for the Arkansas State Senate. Not the most predictable move, but one that has relevant context, given his past government work.

The announcement was made via the official Duggar family Facebook page, where it was confirmed Jim Bob Duggar will be running for Arkansas State Senate District 7, which includes the Duggars’ hometown of Springdale, among other towns in Washington County. The Duggar fam’s patriarch was born and raised in Springdale, attended school there, and has also served as a real estate agent in the area. As TLC viewers are well aware, Duggar married Michelle Duggar not too long after he graduated, and they went on to have 20 children, with the family continuing to grow to this day. 

So it’s safe to say Jim Bob Duggar knows the area and its constituency well enough, so he will likely appeal to family friends and fans during his campaign trail, while presumably also keeping mum about everything happening with son Josh. Duggar previously served in the Arkansas House of Representatives in District 6 from 1999-2003, capping that run five years ahead of TLC picking up 19 Kids and Counting. He attempted to make a go at the U.S. Senate, but lost out in the Republican primary in 2002. He also attempted to land a seat in the Arkansas State Senate back in 2006, but lost to his opponent by a small number of votes. 

While noting God’s blessings in his statement on the Facebook post, here’s how Jim Bob Duggar explained his reason for running for the State Senate:

I am honored to announce my candidacy for Arkansas State Senate District 7. Northwest Arkansas is my lifelong home. It’s where my wife Michelle and I have raised our 20 children. It’s where we’ve grown our small businesses. It’s where we’ve built a life centered around our faith, family, and friends. . . . I’m running for State Senate because these are unprecedented times in our nation. Out-of-control bureaucrats have put politics over common-sense policy with government mandates that force people to choose between earning a paycheck and violating their personal rights and beliefs. The foundational principles that have made our nation great are under threat like never before. Now more than ever, we need a bold voice that is pro-family, pro-business, pro-gun and pro-life. It’s time for conservatives to demand courageous leadership that puts Arkansas families, jobs, and our constitutional liberties first. I look forward to being your voice in the Arkansas State Senate.


Unsurprisingly, the news of Jim Bob Duggar’s government run hasn’t sat well with everyone who’s learned about them. But perhaps the most notable reaction that has come out so far is a single emoji from son-in-law Derick Dillard, who is married to Jill Duggar. The couple has stood out within the family for going against the grain and dropping out of their Counting On spinoff, as well as purposefully distancing themselves from other family members. Here’s how he responded:

Derick Dillard commenting on instagram post about jim bob duggar's state senate run

(Image credit: Instagram)

The timing of Jim Bob Duggar’s candidacy announcement, while perhaps necessary to get the ball rolling, came almost exactly a month ahead of the date set for son Josh Duggar’s trial child pornography trial, which was initially delayed from its July start date. The former reality star’s legal team has made several attempts to get the case dismissed, despite prosecutors claiming to have strong evidence against Duggar. (With one judge calling their attempts “frivolous.”) It’s unclear how things will go, but it’s not out of line to think the results will have some kind of effect on the elder Duggar’s early campaign.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.