Update at 4:47 p.m.: The Huckabee-Wickers connection is strong, according to a usually reliable Republican source. In early 2012, Dewhurst badly needed a leading conservative’s endorsement and he courted Huckabee, the source said. Huckabee let Dewhurst know it would be good if Wickers were somehow involved with the effort to elect Dewhurst, and Wickers’ name soon thereafter popped up as the co-founder of a pro-Dewhurst super PAC, according to the source. The PAC, Conservative Renewal PAC, drew immediate press attention from the Houston Chronicle here and from Trail Blazers here and here.
Earlier, Wickers had been a consultant to Dewhurst but was left out of the action in late 2011 for several months, the source explained. Last August, the Washington Post did this piece about “the strange world of Mike Huckabee’s endorsements.” I am seeking comment from Wickers. NOTE: The update below has been corrected to place Wickers’ base of operations in San Francisco, not Houston.
Update at 12:34 p.m.: Rival Republicans have noticed that Huckabee has endorsed several candidates, such as Patrick, who have hired San Francisco GOP political consultant Bob Wickers and his firm, The Wickers Group. Huckabee’s son in law, Bryan Sanders, is a partner in The Wickers Group and manages its Little Rock office. Wickers is the media consultant and pollster for the Patrick campaign. He previously worked for, and Huckabee endorsed, Bob Bentley for Alabama governor in 2010; and last year, Dewhurst for Senate, Nebraska Senate candidate Jon Bruning and Florida congressman Ted Yoho.
But Allen Blakemore, Patrick’s general consultant, says Patrick and Huckabee “have plenty of history together,” which includes appearing on one another’s shows, joint appearances at Republican events and even “playing rock ‘n roll together.” Both play electric guitar. “That certainly pre-dates any involvement of Wickers with Dan,” Blakemore said.
Original post at 10:39 a.m.: Maybe those conservative, on-air personalities have a secret society.
Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and TV and radio show host who last year supported Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for U.S. Senate, has picked Dan Patrick over Dewhurst in the Republican race for lieutenant governor.
“Dan Patrick shares our values, is a committed Christian and has successfully passed laws to defend life and honor God in the Texas Senate and Texas state pledge,” Huckabee said Tuesday.
Last year, he cut at least two TV commercials in a failed attempt to defend Dewhurst from attacks by eventual Senate race winner Ted Cruz and conservative groups supporting Cruz. You can review Huck’s shilling for the Dew in posts we ran in January 2012 and May 2012.
Patrick, a radio talk-show host and state senator from Houston, is running for lieutenant governor against Dewhurst, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. Last week, several prominent anti-abortion activists in Texas endorsed Dewhurst for re-election. With Huckabee’s blessing, Patrick has now answered with support from one of the nation’s leading social conservatives.