Mike Huckabee (R) - Biography*
Mike Huckabee served as the governor of Arkansas from 1996-2007. Huckabee first was elected lieutenant governor in a 1993 special election and was elected to a full four-year term in 1994.
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. He also led congregations in Pine Bluff and Texarkana.
Huckabee's awards include being named one of the ‘Public Officials of the Year' for 2005 by Governing Magazin, named one of the five best governors in America by Time Magazine, the American Association of Retired Person's Impact Award, and the Music for Life Award by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) for his commitment to music education.
He has chaired the National Governor's Association and Education Commission of the States. He has also served as president of the Council of State Governments, state co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority, and chairman of the Southern Governors Association, the Southern Regional Education Board, the Southern Growth Policies Board, the Southern Technology Council, the Southern International Trade Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.
Huckabee's accomplishments include working with the 37-state coalition to develop energy policy and lobby Congress on energy matters, such as the regulation of oil and gas production. He also is known for his focus on technology in state government. He created an automobile license renewal system that's become a model for states across the country.
As governor the number of charter schools increased and new approaches to workforce education were established in Arkansas. He helped establish a program that provides health insurance coverage for more than 70,000 Arkansas children who otherwise might have gone without. Huckabee cut taxes and fees over 90 times during his ten and a half years as governor and left office with more than $800 million in state surplus. He has also taken steps to encourage healthier lifestyles choices.
After being diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2003, he lost 110 pounds. He's now finished four marathons. Huckabee, 51, 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. He has written five books. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet live in North Little Rock. They have three children.