Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson: Two More Floridians Expected to Join GOP Presidential Field

Mike Huckabee
Mike Huckabee

Despite being one of the larger states by population and an important swing state in national elections, Florida doesn't have much of a history of churning out serious presidential candidates. Sen. Bob Graham was believed to have been on Al Gore's VP shortlist in 2000 and then had an ill-fated presidential candidacy of his own in 2004, but that's about it for the recent history of Floridians seeking the White House. 

Well, until this year. Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are already major players in the GOP field (though Bush hasn't officially announced his candidacy), and in the next week, they're expected to be joined by two other Floridians. However, unlike Rubio and Bush, these two have no previous connection to electoral politics in Florida. 

Mike Huckabee is widely expected to make his intentions clear Tuesday. Hey, isn't he the former governor of Arkansas? you might ask. Indeed, he is, but Huckabee now lives and is registered to vote in Santa Rosa Beach in Florida's Panhandle. 

Huckabee hasn't held office in eight years but has kept a high profile by hosting the Fox News program Huckabee (which ended earlier this year) and The Mike Huckabee Show on radio (which ended last December). Huckabee last ran for president in 2008 and ended up finishing third behind John McCain and Mitt Romney, though he actually remained in the race longer than Romney and became the last credible challenger to McCain. 

Huckabee's announcement is scheduled to take place in Hope, Arkansas, and his candidacy is expected to lean heavily on his experience as governor of Arkansas. 

Ben Carson
Ben Carson
Photo: Gage Skidmore's Flickr | CC2.0

Meanwhile, Ben Carson is also expected to announce his candidacy next Thursday. For years, Carson was one of America's most prominent brain surgeons and a symbol of African-American excellence. He was the first in the world to successfully separate conjoined twins connected at the head. Since his retirement in 2013, Carson has become better known for his conservative political commentary. A native of Detroit, he now lives in Palm Beach. However, he's expected to make his announcement in his hometown. 

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