Early Political Career
Huckabee was firstly noticed on political arena in 1992 during his first race in general election, which was lost to Senator Dale Bumpers in spite of getting 40% of votes. On July 27, 1993 was a first political victory for Michael Huckabee, when he has won a special election for lieutenant governor. Being the second Republican to serve as Arkansas lieutenant governor since Reconstruction, Huckabee repeated his achievement in 1994 when he ran for re-election. Huckabee was re-elected to a full term as lieutenant governor, beating Democrat Charlie Cole Chaffin with nearly 59 percent of the vote. After David Pryor's retirement from the United States Senate, newly elected lieutenant governor has announced that he was going for the open seat and moved well ahead in the polls. He won the Republican nomination unopposed. Huckabee then claimed he would quit the Senate race and instead fill the unexpired term of Tucker.
Mike Huckabee's Governorship
In the second part of 1996, Huckabee campaigned for ballot Amendment 1, having a program to adjust correctly tax rules, which should help to create more equal school funding across the state, also Amendment 2 – in that constitutional amendment he wanted to rise up the state sales tax 0.125 percent for improving the state's natural resources and park system. During that campaign, Huckabee crossed the entire Arkansas River within Arkansas by boat. Both Amendments have passed: the first one with 52%-48% and the second one with 51%-49%.
The next 1997 year was proclaimed as a year of racial reconciliation with slogan "Let every one of us make it our priority to bring reconciliation, not so much that we can force it or legislate it, because we cannot, but that we begin in each of our own lives to purpose in our hearts that we will not harbor anger, hostility, prejudice, bigotry and racism toward any person."
Huckabee involved Medicaid, SCHIP, and a tobacco industry lawsuit settlement as a part investors for creation a health insurance program for lower-income families children. That signed legislation helped to reduce the amount of uninsured children to 9%. Another step for life improvement was a Smart Start program for students of primary schools to learn basic levels of math, reading and character, which cost 7,6millions of dollars for the state budget. In the first year of the governorship, Huckabee has banned birth abortions. He vetoed 140 million program for capital improvements but The Arkansas General Assembly has overridden it. In 1997 he has signed a document to allow religious groups getting social services without compromising their principles.
The quote claims:
"Provided that the health, safety and welfare of children in the care of a child welfare agency is not endangered, nothing in this act shall be construed to permit the Board to promulgate or enforce any rule that has the effect of: (A) interfering with the religious teaching or instruction offered by a child welfare agency; (B) infringing upon the religious beliefs of the holder(s) of a child welfare agency license; (C) infringing upon the right of an agency operated by a religious organization to consider creed in any decision or action relating to admitting or declining to admit a child or family for services; (D) infringing upon the parents' right to consent to a child's participating in prayer or other religious practices while in the care of the child welfare agency; (E) prohibiting the use of corporal discipline."
Huckabee was convinced that all state agencies were compliant with that charitable choice. In October 2000, Huckabee's administration issued guidelines guaranteed for any client to receive an alternative placement if the one objects to a religious provider. Also it allowed religious groups to offer various voluntary religious programs and to leave their religious artifacts on the walls as long as welfare clients are not pressured to convert and tax money doesn't directly underwrite them. Religious groups are permitted to dismiss a job candidate on religious grounds.
On Presidential straw poll of 65 Christian Coalition leaders in February 1998, Huckabee became the second after John Ashcroft and leaving behind Steve Forbes, J. C. Watts and George W. Bush.