‘Counting On’ Dad Jim Bob Duggar Blasts ‘Cancel Culture,’ Won’t ‘Shrink Away’ From Politics Because of Josh Duggar Trial

His family’s reality show may have been canceled, but Jim Bob Duggar refuses to step out of the spotlight. The 19 Kids and Counting personality recently announced that he is running for Arkansas state senate, despite his son Josh Duggar’s upcoming trial on charges he received and possessed material depicting child sexual abuse. Now, the Counting On patriarch is blasting critics who say his family’s troubles mean he should stay out of politics. 

Jim Bob Duggar announces Arkansas State Senate run ahead of Josh Duggar trial

Jim Bob Duggar in the audience at an event in 2012
Jim Bob Duggar | Kris Connor/Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Counting On’ Canceled Following Josh Duggar’s Arrest

Duggar announced his latest run for office in an Oct. 29 Facebook post. He previously served as a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002. Duggar ran for U.S. Senate in 2002 and Arkansas State Senate in 2006. In both cases, he lost in the primary election. His son Jed Duggar lost his 2020 campaign for an Arkansas House seat to Democrat Megan Godfrey. 

The controversial former TLC star’s current foray into politics comes as his eldest son Josh prepares to go to court on child pornography charges. The 33-year-old — whose wife Anna Duggar just gave birth to their seventh child — has pleaded not guilty. his trial begins Nov. 30.

The charges against Josh prompted TLC to cancel the Duggar family’s reality show, Counting On. Allegations that Josh had abused several girls when he was a teenager, including several of his sisters, led to the cancellation of the family’s earlier show, 19 Kids and Counting, in 2015. 

‘19 Kids and Counting’ dad claims the ‘radical left’ wants to keep him out of politics 

Michelle Duggar gazing adoringly at Jim Bob Duggar
Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar | Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

In a Nov. 15 post on the family’s website, the elder Duggar expanded on his decision to run for office despite the serious charges against his son. He insisted that political opponents wanted to silence him because of his family’s challenges. The one-time TLC personality said he would not back down.

“Like so many other families, we too have faced crises, difficulties, and heartbreak,” he wrote. “‘Cancel culture’ and the radical left want to keep us from being involved in politics. They say because our family has faced problems we should shrink away.”

Duggar went on to say that he wanted to continue his fight against “the liberal ‘good old boys.’” He called his critics “relentlessly unkind.” In his campaign announcement, Duggar said he was “pro-family, pro-business, pro-gun and pro-life” and took a stand against vaccine mandates. 

The Duggar family courts more controversy with pro-hunting Instagram post 

As Jim Bob Duggar attempts to revive his political career, a new post on the family’s official Instagram account seemed designed to further inflame controversy. On Nov. 16, the Duggars shared a photo of their son Jackson Duggar posing with a dead deer he had shot on a hunting trip. While a few congratulated the teen, the response from most followers was overwhelmingly negative.

“Nope nope nope !!” one person commented. 

“This isn’t very pro-life,” another wrote, referring to the family’s anti-abortion stance. One person wondered if the post was an attempt to distract from the controversy surrounding Josh, while another slammed the family’s hamfisted attempts to remain in the public eye. 

“Tell me you don’t have a PR team without telling me you don’t a PR team,” they wrote.

Check out Showbiz Cheat Sheet on Facebook!