Mike Huckabee joined the presidential race

Marina Fang-- The Huffington Post 

Mike Huckabee, the Baptist minister who became Arkansas governor, announced Tuesday he'll run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Huckabee made the announcement in his hometown of Hope, Arkansas.

"I am a candidate for president of the United States of America," he said.

Huckabee, 59, quit his job hosting his own Fox News show, "Huckabee," in January. Last month, he began plotting campaign strategy and hiring staff.

Huckabee ran for president in 2008. He joins an already crowded 2016 Republican field, and will likely enlist support from the party's far right wing, where he faces competition from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has positioned himself as a tea party favorite. Huckabee said on CBS's "Face the Nation" last month that he's confident he can broaden his appeal beyond evangelical Christians and social conservatives to reach working-class Republicans concerned about the economy.

"There's a real sense in the Republican Party that there's no one speaking, not only to them, but speaking for them," Huckabee said then. "And if someone can capture both the blue-collar, working-class Republicans, the conservatives, many of them even union members, as well as evangelicals, there's a real pathway to the nomination."

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