LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Making national history, Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet, both filed to run for statewide office on Tuesday.
The Republican governor is seeking re-election, while his wife is running for secretary of state. She has never sought public office.
As a 46-year-old mother of three, the first lady has gained attention in the state for her adventurous nature. She has gone bungee-jumping and accompanied soldiers on military exercises. Riding jet skis and kayaking are among her outdoor hobbies.
She has said her role as overseer of the Governor's Mansion -- including extensive renovations since her husband became governor in 1996 after the resignation of then-Gov. Jim Guy Tucker -- provided experience that would be useful if she is elected.
The secretary of state's office is responsible for upkeep of the state Capitol, as well as for maintaining state corporate records, election records and financial disclosure reports.
Sharon Priest, the current secretary of state, is barred by term limits from seeking another term. Charlie Daniels, a Democrat who is now state land commissioner and also is barred from seeking that office, is the only other announced candidate in the secretary of state's race.
The state Republican Party encouraged Janet Huckabee to run.
If both Huckabees win, her husband would not be her boss. Each position is an independent constitutional office. The state constitution says that the governor shall be paid $60,000 a year, and the secretary of state $37,500.
The governor faces an in-party challenge from retired banker Doyle Cannady, a 62-year-old widower from Maumelle.
Huckabee is a widely popular six-year incumbent with a strong statewide network and a $1 million campaign warchest.
State Treasurer Jimmie Lou Fisher has said she is running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, but has not filed papers yet. She is barred by term limits from seeking the treasurer's spot again.