Jim Bob Duggar Speaks Out After Losing Election Bid In Wake Of Josh Duggar's Child Pornography Conviction

Jim Bob Duggar giving local TV interview
(Image credit: KGUN9)

One might think TLC ordered up another spinoff of its former hit 19 Days and Counting, considering how many Duggar family members have been making headlines lately, although much of the news surrounding them has been anything but positive. Less than a full week after Josh Duggar was handed a guilty verdict in his child pornography trial, his father Jim Bob Duggar suffered a political blow, as he failed to draw anywhere near enough votes to win the primary race in his Arkansas county for an open state senate seat

Taking to his campaign’s Facebook page following the primary election results being reported on Tuesday night, Jim Bob Duggar said the following: 

I want to thank those of you who voted for me, volunteered, contributed, and supported me in my race for Arkansas State Senate District 7. I am so honored to have been surrounded by some really great people in this campaign. It has been a difficult season for our family, so I am particularly grateful to those of you who have offered your prayers and encouragement. I love our country, our state, and our Northwest Arkansas community. I will always do all I can to help advance conservative candidates and causes.

Having served on the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999-2002, Jim Bob Duggar was fighting to get back into the political arena through the Arkansas State Senate this time, with a campaign backed by so-called pro-life, pro-gun and pro-family ideals. Yet, despite reminding voters of his accomplishments 20 years ago, and backing from grassroots organizations like Re-Open Arkansas, Duggar just couldn’t sway enough people to pick his name in the voting booths.

With four Republican candidates figuratively duking it out to become the official candidate to eventually face a Democrat opponent, Jim Bob Duggar came in third with just 15% of the vote. He was toppled by runner-up Steve Unger (31%) and the election’s victor, Colby Fulfer, who brought in 46% of those who voted in the district. Duggar congratulated Fulfer lower in his Facebook message, saying:

I want to congratulate Colby Fulfer and Steve Unger, the top two Republican candidates, who will have a run-off election on January 11. Whoever wins the Republican primary will have my support and prayer for victory as he faces a Democrat opponent on February 8. Above all, I am thankful to God for His love and kindness toward us, and pray He will cause His face to shine on our state and nation.

Many were taken by surprise back in October 2021 when Jim Bob Duggar initially announced his plans to run for the open state senate seat, considering his son’s impending trial at the time. It’s obviously impossible to know whether Josh Duggar’s conviction, or even Jana Duggar’s child endangerment charges, had any effect on who voters chose. But it’s hard to argue that the election’s timing was anything but fortunate for the former reality TV star, who shared his reaction to the conviction in the immediate aftermath.

Time will tell whether or not Jim Bob Duggar puts any effort into actively backing his temporary political rival Colby Fulfer ahead of the February 8 election. If Josh Duggar's sentencing ends up being set for anywhere near that date, though, perhaps the family patriarch will avoid going public in any capacity. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.