From 1996-2007, Mike Huckabee served as the 44th Governor of Arkansas. In the 2008 election, the former governor campaigned for the Republican nomination for President — and to share his message of vertical politics that he says reflects American values and priorities. He also formed HuckPac to assist Republicans running for office nationwide under the belief that conservative leadership is best suited to lead America forward in the 21st Century.
Huckabee became governor in July 1996 when his predecessor resigned. He was one of the youngest governors in the country at the time. Huckabee was elected to a full four-year term as governor in 1998, attracting the largest percentage of the vote ever received by a Republican gubernatorial nominee in Arkansas, and was re-elected to another four-year term in November 2002.
Huckabee first was elected lieutenant governor in a 1993 special election and was elected to a full four-year term in 1994. He was only the fourth Republican to be elected to statewide office since Reconstruction.
A significant part of his adult life was spent as a pastor and denominational leader. He became the youngest president ever of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, the largest denomination in Arkansas. Huckabee led rapidly growing congregations in Pine Bluff and Texarkana. He said those experiences gave him a deep sense of the problems faced by individuals and families.
Huckabee's efforts to improve his own health have received national attention. Diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2003, he lost 110 pounds. Barely two years later, he completed four marathons: The 2005 and 2006 Little Rock Marathons, the Marine Corps Marathon and the ING New York City Marathon. As a result of his accomplishments, The Road Runners Club of America named him its 'Southern Region Runner of the Year' and USA Track & Field has named him their 'Athlete of the Week' for the country.
Continuing to call for a national emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle, Huckabee completed his fourth book, "Quit Digging Your Grave With A Knife and Fork." This 12-stop program is a no-nonsense approach to managing one's health through lifestyle change rather than a simple diet and exercise plan. His most recent book, "A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need From Washington (and a Trillion We Don’t!)," describes his view of the role of government in America.
Huckabee enjoys playing bass guitar in his rock-n-roll band, Capitol Offense, which has opened for artists such as Willie Nelson and the Charlie Daniels Band, and has played the House of Blues in New Orleans, the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, CO and for two presidential inauguration balls.
The former governor and his wife, Janet, live in Florida and still spend part of their time in Arkansas. They have three grown children: John Mark, David and Sarah.