Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, showing up at Oklahoma Christian University in borrowed cowboy boots, used part of his visit Sunday to the Sooner State to raise money for Republican state and congressional candidates.
Huckabee, leadoff speaker for the I Debate camp taking place this week at Oklahoma Christian, left a couple hours later for a fundraiser for his political action committee, HuckPAC, at the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. Hosts included U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, former Gov. Frank Keating, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and former state Sen. Scott Pruitt, who is a managing partner of the Oklahoma City RedHawks.
Huckabee, who has daily radio commentaries on the ABC radio network and a weekend show on the Fox cable network, has not announced his 2012 political plans.
His political action committee raises money for volunteers and activities in state races this year and in 2010. He expects the committee to provide assistance in Oklahoma’s 2010 gubernatorial race.
“Our PAC is a little different; rather than just kind of become a money stop, our primary focus is to activate volunteers,” he said in an interview before speaking to the high school students at Oklahoma Christian. “We’re helping to recruit candidates, help train them, supply volunteers to their campaign.
“The goal is to get people activated in their local communities and states to operate everything from phone banks to knocking on doors,” said Huckabee, who finished second in the 2008 Republican presidential primary in Oklahoma and is a frontrunner in the 2012 GOP presidential sweepstakes.
Huckabee said he learned during his presidential campaign is critically important, but volunteers and grass-roots efforts “are amazingly valuable.”
Support for GOP candidates usually is provided after the primaries are over, he said.
Huckabee arrived in Oklahoma from New York, where he hosts his cable TV show, but his checked-in luggage was sent on to Minneapolis. He had dressed casually for his flight, wearing jeans and running shoes.
Among the items in the missing luggage was his pair of dress shoes. His daughter’s boyfriend, he said, lent him his pair of tan cowboy boots to wear to Oklahoma Christian. Minutes before he was scheduled to speak to the students, his luggage was delivered on campus and he slipped on his black dress shoes.
- Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau