The state Republican Party Wednesday announced that former Arkansas Gov. Mike is the 16th potential GOP candidate for President to confirm an appearance at the party’s “First-in-the-Nation Republican Leadership Summit” on April 17 and 18 in Nashua.
Huckabee, a former Fox News host who finished third in the 2008 New Hampshire presidential primary with 11 percent of the vote, has not held any public appearances in the state since the beginning of the 2016 cycle, which cast doubt on whether he will run. But his appearance as the summit renews speculation about a possible candidacy.
Huckabee: Latest confirmed speaker for @FITNsummit
Huckabee will speak on Saturday afternoon, April 18. The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The NHGOP said that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson have turned down invitations to the event, citing scheduling conflicts, leaving New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the lone holdout.
“The ‘First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit’ is a must-attend event for anybody who is seriously considering a run for President,” said NHGOP chair Jennifer Horn. “We are pleased that so many of the potential candidates have committed to address our outstanding grassroots activists in Nashua and share their plans to turn around our country. “
Horn said, “We are disappointed that scheduling conflicts prevent Senator Santorum and Dr. Carson from attending. Additionally, we have been in frequent contact with Governor Christie’s staff and are still trying to confirm his attendance. We are hopeful that Governor Christie will recognize the importance of this event and find time in his schedule to address the summit.”
The party today released a tentative agenda that gives prime speaking positions to several potential candidates.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will address the Friday afternoon lunch gathering, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will address the Friday evening dinner.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will address the Saturday morning breakfast gathering, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will headline the Saturday lunch. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker gets perhaps the best speaking position, appearing at Saturday evening reception and then addressing the Saturday night dinner, wrapping up the event.
The final positions for other speakers are still being finalized, the party said. Each day’s session will begin at 9 a.m. and end at approximately 8 p.m., following dinner.