Former Tennessee Senator Hopes for Win in Huckabee's Backyard - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Former Tennessee Senator Hopes for Win in Huckabee's Backyard

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Mike Huckabee has been selling himself as Arkansas' OTHER favorite political son from the town of Hope, but Fred Thompson's entry in the Republican presidential contest could reduce Huckabee's chances in his own backyard.

Huckabee, who left office in January after serving ten years as governor, appeared to enjoy solid support among the state's Republicans and a 55 percent approval rating from voters last year as he began his presidential campaign.  But Thompson, a native of neighboring Tennessee, who announced his White House bid last week, hopes to steal Huckabee's thunder in his home state.

He's recruited at least two Republicans from the state to help.  Terry Benham, a Republican strategist in Little Rock, will be managing Thompson's political operations in the deep South.  Tim Griffin, a former U.S. attorney at Little Rock, is now an adviser to Thompson's campaign.

Benham said that it appeared that everyone else in the GOP race was going to write Arkansas off as Huckabee's state, but he said that's not going to be the case with the Thompson campaign.  Benham said he thinks the former Tennessee senator and actor is a more electable candidate than Huckabee.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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