Tags: GOP2016 | mike huckabee | 2016 | political | background | facts

Mike Huckabee 2016: 8 Facts About Political Background of GOP Presidential Hopeful

By    |   Monday, 05 Jan 2015 05:41 PM

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is a Baptist minister with a long career in politics. He took a run at the White House once already, and appears poised to campaign again for 2016.

Here are eight facts about Huckabee’s political experience as he eyes a 2016 run.

1. Huckabee had his first taste of politics through youth leadership organizations and while serving on his high school student council in Hope, Arkansas. After becoming a pastor, Huckabee ran for his first office in 1989 and became president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.

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2. In 1992, Huckabee lost when he challenged an incumbent senator. However, then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton was elected president during that same election, and the state’s lieutenant governor moved up to take Clinton’s place. Huckabee ran for lieutenant governor during a special election and won in 1993. He ran again in 1994 and won a full term.

3. Huckabee was the Republican nominee for a state Senate position in 1996 when Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker resigned after being indicted in the Whitewater scandal. As next in line for the position, Huckabee announced he would drop his bid for the Senate and take over as governor. He was elected to a second term in 1998 and a third term in 2002.

4. As governor, Huckabee surprised both camps as he approved a tax increase to fund road improvements and expanded health insurance while remaining staunchly conservative in other areas. He tackled several controversial issues that his predecessors had passed along like hot potatoes, including a plan to close dozens of the state’s struggling small school districts.

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5. Citing his belief in redemption, Huckabee became perhaps best known during his governorship for pardoning or commuting the sentences of more than 1,000 criminals, The New York Times reported. The practice angered some conservatives and victims’ families, particularly when some freed convicts went on to reoffend.

6. Huckabee made his first bid for the White House in 2008. He caused a stir when he won Iowa’s Republican caucuses. His campaign soon ran into financial problems, however, and he came in a distant second to John McCain in earning the Republican nomination.

7. Since his 2008 campaign, Huckabee has kept himself part of the political conversation by hosting programs on Fox and on national radio stations. He also continues to write books on everything from religion to his much-publicized weight loss. Controversial comments have landed him in hot water a number of times, including opinions about gay people, Mormons, and women.

8. Though Huckabee was seen as a GOP front-runner leading up to the 2012 presidential campaign, he decided not to run. He’s told multiple media outlets that he’s keeping the door to a 2016 run open, however, with several recent moves indicating he might make another go at the White House.

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is a Baptist minister with a long career in politics. He took a run at the White House once already, and appears poised to campaign again for 2016. Here are eight facts about Huckabee’s political experience as he eyes a 2016 run.
mike huckabee, 2016, political, background, facts
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Monday, 05 Jan 2015 05:41 PM
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