Huckabee ends Senate speculation

(August 28, 2003) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Governor Huckabee announced today he won't challenge Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln in her race for re-election next year. Huckabee says he wants to concentrate on reforming education inthe state, something he can't devote full attention to if he is a candidate. He says he wants to focus on what's best for the children of Arkansas. A relaxed Huckabee spoke with his wife, Janet, at his right side. Today's news conference was announced only a couple of hours before its 11 a.m. start time. The 48-year-old Huckabee is in the first year of his second full four-year term. He had been leaning against a run against Lincoln, but had not firmly ruled it out. No prominent state Republicans have indicated a desire to run. Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson, who is currently an undersecretary for Homeland Security, says though an aide he won't enter the race. Huckabee said he believed he could win if he challenged Lincoln and that it's a fear of winning -- not losing -- that's keeping him out. Huckabee says he wouldn't want to commute to and from Washington, D-C.