Counting On's Jim Bob Duggar Is Running for Arkansas State Senate—And Derick Dillard Has Thoughts

Counting On's Jim Bob Duggar is re-entering the political sphere with his run for Arkansas State Senate as Josh Duggar's legal battle wages on.

By Cydney Contreras Oct 30, 2021 1:07 AMTags
Watch: TLC Cancels "Counting On" 2 Months After Josh Duggar's Arrest

Jim Bob Duggar is pursuing a career in politics.

The 19 Kids and Counting alum announced he will run for Arkansas State Senate District 7 on Friday, Oct. 29, writing on the family's Facebook profile that they are "excited to share this big announcement with you!"

In Jim Bob's formal statement, the reality star stated in part that he's running out of the belief that "it's important to us to give back and to help others in every way we can."

"Now more than ever, we need a bold voice that is pro-family, pro-business, pro-gun and pro-life," the 56-year-old father of 20 continued. "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."

Jim Bob previously served in the Arkansas House of Representatives for four years before he lost in the 2002 election to Bill Pritchard.

The Complete Duggar Family Tree

KNWA News shared the announcement in an Instagram post, where Derick DillardJill Duggar's husband, commented with a mysterious thinking emoji.

E! News reached out to Derick's rep for comment.

Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Jill and Derick quietly began distancing themselves from the rest of the Duggar family in 2017, telling People last year that they realized, "Our control to choose what jobs we were allowed to accept and even where we were allowed to live was taken away from us."

At the time, Jill and Derick expressed that they didn't "expect this to happen," nor did they want to be estranged from the family. "But I'm realizing I can't put a timeline on healing," she added. 

D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

Then, in April, Josh Duggar was arrested by the FBI on charges of receiving and possessing material that depicted children being sexually abused. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bail with conditions in May.

"We intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly," Josh's attorneys said in May. "In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you're accused, you can fight back in the courtroom—and that is exactly what Josh intends to do."

Following the April arrest, Jill and Derick described the accusations as "very sad" to E! News.

Jill was named as one of Josh's alleged molestation victims, along with sister Jessa, during a family sit-down with Megyn Kelly in 2015.

Washington County AR Sheriff department

Once Josh was arrested, their other sister Jinger wrote in a separate statement, "We are disturbed to hear of the charges against Josh. While the case must go through the legal system, we want to make it clear that we absolutely condemn any form of child abuse and fully support the authorities and judicial process in their pursuit of justice." 

Jim Bob and wife Michelle also spoke out in the wake of their son's arrest. "The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious," they said in part. "It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family."

TLC went on to cancel the show Counting On in June, explaining in a statement, "TLC feels it is important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately."

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