Huckabee headlining February rally for Wagner
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 5, 2012 - Ann Wagner, a Republican congressional candidate for the 2nd District, is bringing in former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a favorite with social conservatives, for a Feb. 2 rally.
The location has yet to be announced, but free tickets will be distributed Saturday afternoon to grassroots supporters at Wagner's headquarters, 14551 Manchester Road.
A Wagner spokesman said the rally reflects her support for conservative issues and her support from fellow conservatives.
Huckabee endorsed Wagner a couple of months ago. In a statement, he said, "Huck PAC and I are pleased to endorse Ann Wagner....With over 20 years of experience in the private sector, community service and politics, Ann's career has been committed to service to her hometown, state and nation."
Wagner said: "I am excited to welcome conservative champion, Gov. Mike Huckabee to my hometown and the 2nd congressional district to fire up grassroots supporters as our campaign continues to build momentum and work toward historic GOP victories in 2012. Together we will return strong, effective, conservative leadership to Washington."
So far, Huckabee's PAC has yet to donate to Wagner, the spokesman said. But Wagner hasn't appeared to need the money yet, either, based on her previous campaign reports. Her latest report showed her with about $860,000 in the bank -- far more than her GOP rival, St. Louis Ed Martin. The latest reports are due Jan. 31.
Wagner, a former state GOP chairman and a former co-chair of the Republican National Committee, has benefited from her political ties. Her supporters also include many executives at Enterprise Rent-a-Car, one of the state's most politically active companies. Her husband, former state Revenue Director Ray Wagner, has been an Enterprise executive for at least 15 years.
Huckabee's appearance could be aimed at bolstering Wagner's support from area tea party activists, some of whom prefer Martin. He was a speaker at a tea party event Wednesday in Jefferson City.
Wagner also has defended some tea party targets, notably U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., who is being challenged for re-election by some tea party activists in Indiana.