Former Arkansas Governor and Texarkana Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee officially threw his hat in the ring from Hope, Ark., this morning in hopes of becoming the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

Huckabee announced a run for his party's 2016 presidential nomination Tuesday with an energized speech aimed at garnering support from the Christian right and blue-collar Americans struggling to make ends meet, according to MSN News.

The 59-year-old former Arkansas governor and former host of a popular Fox News television show is a long shot in the widening race to represent the Republican Party in the November 2016 election. Huckabee is the sixth Republican to make a formal bid.

 

The former Southern Baptist pastor rode support from social conservatives opposing abortion rights and gay marriage to an early surprise victory in the 2008 White House race. Huckabee said that, if elected, he would change government policies to focus more on working-class Americans.

 

"I don't come from a family dynasty, but a working family. I grew up blue-collar, not blue blood," he said, in an apparent reference to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

 

Huckabee chose to announce his bid in the small town of Hope, Ark., which both he and former Democratic President Bill Clinton call their hometown.

Huckabee is no stranger to Texarkana, having served as preacher of Beech Street First Baptist Church here from 1986 to 1992. He next went on in 1993 to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas and was elected to two full terms in 1998 and in 2002 to subsequently serve as the 44th Governor of the state.

Today's presidential bid marks Huckabee's second bid for office. He ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2008 but lost to U.S. Senator John McCain.