The Duggar primary: Will the Huckster or Santorum get the bloc vote? | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Duggar primary: Will the Huckster or Santorum get the bloc vote?

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 10:59 AM



Mother Jones investigates
where the Duggar family will put is ever-growing vote and political influence in the 2016 presidential race? They've supported both Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum in the past. The photo shows Duggar family members with Santorum in Iowa in 2002.

This year, the Duggars are keeping their electoral powder dry so far.

Noted: Political operator Chad Gallagher of Little Rock, director of the Huck PAC that builds brand for the Huckster but spends precious little on other candidates, turns out to be bi- himself for the time being. When a Duggar comment was sought, Gallagher was put up as spokesman for the clan.

Following the 2012 election, the family cemented its place as conservative power players when Josh Duggar, the couple's eldest son, was tapped as executive director of FRC Action, the political arm of the social-conservative group founded by James Dobson. The job, which brought Josh to Washington from rural Arkansas, drew him closer into the orbit of potential presidential hopefuls. It also puts him in charge of a well-funded political machine capable of mobilizing pro-life, anti-gay-marriage voters during Republican primary elections.

So which way is Josh leaning these days? In January, he appeared at a rally sponsored by Patriot Voices, Santorum's political non-profit, and he implored conservatives to "stand behind" Santorum and "give him support." But he was more guarded at a reception on Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, DC, where a procession of eager millennials waited to have their photo taken with Josh and his pregnant wife, Anna. The couple's three small children sat quietly in the back of the room, supervised by the Duggars' onetime wedding coordinator, who was serving as a babysitter.

Asked about the family's 2016 decision, Josh said, "I would just say that we have a lot of friends who are running this year and we hope that all of them run, I'll put it that way. [Huckabee's] been a good friend of ours for a number of years. That's pretty clear. People know that. I also think that Rick Santorum has been a tireless defender of the issues that are very close to our heart." He even tossed out another possible contender for Duggar seal of approval. "When you look at the lineup, I'm also a big fan of Ted Cruz."

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