Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is in Knoxville and Johnson City today on a tour to promote his most recent book (“God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy”) that coincidentally comes as he’s eyeing another run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. He ran in 2008, of course, and carried Tennessee in the primary.
In a report on the Knoxville visit, Georgiana Vines includes some comments from Tennesseans helping Huckabee in his endeavors:
Chip Saltsman of Nashville, who ran his previous campaign and then assisted U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Ooltewah, Tenn., as a candidate and officeholder in 2009-12, is Huckabee’s senior adviser. Saltsman also was a political adviser to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and former chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party.
“He is working through the process of deciding to run for president again. I am helping him in the process. I am biased, but that’s because I think he should,” Saltsman said Sunday from the bus bringing Huckabee to Knoxville.
Huckabee has drawn large crowds in Knoxville since the 2008 campaign when he came for other book signings and to speak.
Knoxvillian Bonnie Brezina, campaign manager for state Sen. Richard Briggs’ recent election, said she, too, is helping Huckabee.
Brezina said she’s helping with the Tennessee book tour and then will “hang out” in Texas when he’s there in February. She said she’s helping with getting legislators and donors to the book signings. She said Briggs and Rep. Eddie Smith, both Republicans, are expected to attend the book signing at noon today at Sam’s Club in West Knoxville.
Note: Huckabee has been no stranger to Tennessee before he launched the 43-stop book promotion tour this month. See, for example, previous posts on a trip to Nashville and another on a trip to Jackson back in September.