Huckabee to speak at GOP picnic

Saturday, July 19, 2008
Christopher Gannon ~ The Des Moines Register Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee took the podium after being introduced by Bob Vander Plaats, right, former chairman of Huckabee's Iowa primary campaign, at the Iowa Republican Party state convention in Des Moines, Iowa, July 12. Huckabee will be in Cape Girardeau next month for U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson's annual picnic.

Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will be the keynote speaker at the 13th annual Old Fashioned Family Picnic of U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson on Aug. 9, according to a news release from the congresswoman's office Friday.

"Governor Huckabee is a champion for rural America," said Emerson in the release. "His presidential campaign inspired people across the country."

Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, is an ordained Baptist minister and a regular contributor to FOX News. After ending his own presidential bid earlier this year, Huckabee has been working for the campaign of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Emerson said the picnic, a traditional election-year kickoff, usually draws around 500 people but that she hoped to draw as many as 200 more than usual because of Huckabee's appearance.

Emerson said she has invited the statewide Republican ticket to the event. Local elected officials and candidates have been invited as well.

"This year's election is extremely important, and I think people will enjoy hearing about his experience on the campaign trail and outlook for the November election," said Emerson about Huckabee.

Doors at the Arena Building in Cape Girardeau will open at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 9, and the program will begin at 5:30 p.m.

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