Huckabee Says He Formed 2016 Presidential Exploratory Committee

IOWA AG SUMMIT

Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, speaks during the Iowa Ag Summit at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, March 7, 2015

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said he formed a presidential exploratory committee in early April, a step toward running for the Republican nomination in 2016.

The disclosure to reporters in Washington on Friday came almost in passing. The Baptist pastor-turned-cable-news-star also said he won’t reveal in a television appearance tonight whether he will run or get out of the crowded race. He has said he’ll announce in late spring. That season ends June 21.

Huckabee, 59, is keeping busy with visits to Iowa and South Carolina as he tries to win financial support for a possible candidacy. He’ll be in Hudson, New Hampshire, on Saturday to have breakfast with supporters before cheering on the Second Amendment at a gun range.

The exploratory committee allows Huckabee to pay some staff members and finance limited travel. Huckabee doesn’t have to disclose the committee until he is no longer “testing the waters,” according to the Federal Election Commission. Moves like speaking of himself as a candidate, using public political advertising to publicize an intention to run and raising more money than is needed to explore a run would trigger disclosure.

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