WASHINGTON – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Tuesday announced his candidacy for the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination, becoming the sixth conservative hopeful to launch a campaign for the White House.
Huckabee, who also ran in the 2008 primaries, where he lost to Arizona Sen. John McCain, selected his hometown of Hope as the site of his campaign announcement.
After giving an overview of his experience as a politician, as governor and as a father, all roles he played from Hope, he said that there could be no other spot for him to announce his candidacy.
“It would be perfectly fitting that I would announce here that I am a candidate for president of the United States of America,” said Huckabee to hundreds of supporters at the University of Arkansas Community College.
Coincidentally, the former Arkansas governor is from the same town as former President Bill Clinton, and it provides an ideal backdrop for comparing his candidacy with that of the Democratic favorite, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In his campaign, Huckabee will emphasize that he is the only Republican candidate who has faced what he calls “the Clinton machine” and has managed to beat it in the state.
In fact, when the former first lady officially announced her own candidacy last month, Huckabee said on Twitter that the event made him yearn for their former days of political battle in Arkansas.
Although he is not one of the favorites to win his party’s nomination, Huckabee’s campaign has a good bit of strength, helped by the weekly television program he has hosted in recent years on Fox News and which has 1.3 million viewers.
Also vying for the Republican nomination are Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, along with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Expected to soon join the race are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and current Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.