Friday, January 29, 2016

Native son Mike Huckabee leads pack in nominations from Arkansas GOP officeholders; Rubio, Cruz and others also attract support

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 4:45 PM

No surprise here — among the GOP contenders for president, native son and former governor Mike Huckabee has racked up the the most impressive collections of endorsements in Arkansas (see the full list below). Five of the six constitutional officers in the state, four from the congressional delegation, and an impressive array of state legislators have officially endorsed the Huck. 

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have also been attracting interest; 14 state legislators have endorsed Rubio and nine have endorsed Cruz. 

The Iowa caucuses are set for Monday and many expect Huckabee, lagging in the polls, to drop out if he has a disappointing showing. We speculated earlier on where Huckabee's support (and that of his followers) might go. The hot rumor is that Huckabee will endorse Rubio if he drops out, and bring heavy hitters like Hutchinson and Griffin with him. But the wild card in the mix is Donald Trump, who has scheduled a campaign event for Little Rock on Feb. 3.
Could Huckabee, who was by the Donald's side last night at his benefit event, show up for a surprise endorsement? Maybe not, but if Huckabee drops out, his big group of backers has to scatter somewhere. Maybe some of them will hop on stage to endorse Trump when he's in town. No officeholders in Arkansas have endorsed Trump thus far to my knowledge. 

Here's where the endorsements stand now among Republican state officeholders. This may not be a comprehensive list; let me know in comments if I'm missing anyone that has made an official endorsement. Arkansas will hold its primary on March 1. 

Supporting Mike Huckabee
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (chair of state campaign)
U.S. Sen. John Boozman (chair)
U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford
U.S. Rep. French Hill
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman
Lt. Governor Tim Griffin
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Secretary of State Mark Martin
State Treasurer Dennis Milligan
Land Commissioner John Thurston
Sen. Alan Clark
Sen. Bryan King
Sen. Jason Rapert
Sen. Gary Stubblefield
Sen. Jon Woods
Rep. Karilyn Brown
Rep. Donnie Copeland
Rep. Charlene Fite
Rep. Mickey Gates
Rep. Justin Harris
Rep. Prissy Hickerson
Rep. Jack Ladyman
Rep. Julie Mayberry
Rep. Nelda Speaks
Rep. James Sturch
Rep. Dwight Tosh
Rep. David Wallace
Rep. Richard Womack
Republican National Committeeman (and former state rep) Jonathan Barnett

Supporting Marco Rubio
Sen. Bart Hester (chair of state campaign)
Senate Majority Leader Jim Hendren
House Majority Leader Ken Bragg
House Majority Whip Jim Dotson
Rep. Justin Boyd 
Rep. Nate Bell
Rep. Lanny Fite
Sen. Missy Irvin
Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson
Rep. Charlie Collins
Rep. DeAnn Vaught
Rep. Laurie Rushing
Rep. Jana Della Rosa
Rep. David Meeks
Arkansas Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe

Supporting Ted Cruz

Rep. Bob Ballinger (chair)
Rep. Dan Sullivan
Rep. John Payton
Rep. Justin Conzales
Rep. Brandt Smith
Rep. Michelle Gray
Rep. Stephen Meeks
Sen. Terry Rice
Sen. Linda Collins-Smith

Supporting Carly Fiorina 
Rep. Rebecca Petty
Rep. Robin Lundstrom
Rep. Grant Hodges

Supporting John Kasich
Rep. Matt Pitsch 

Supporting Chris Christie
Rep. Doug House

Supporting Jeb Bush
Former Speaker of the House Davy Carter (okay he's a former officeholder, but still)

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