By Bob Allen
Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has endorsed fellow Baptist minister Mark Harris, who is running for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina.
“Mark is the right choice for conservatives and Republicans in North Carolina,” Huckabee said of Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte and immediate past president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Harris announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination in September.
Huckabee, a Fox News personality who ran for president in 2008, was a pastor who served as president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention before trading the pulpit for politics in the 1990s. He was elected Arkansas’ lieutenant governor in 1993 and became governor when his predecessor resigned. He was elected to a full four-year terms as governor in 1998 and 2002.
Harris, a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary who has led the 3,000-member First Baptist Church for nine years, recently completed two years of service as president of the 4,300-church North Carolina affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention.
His political engagement began in 2011, when he became a founding member of “Vote for Marriage NC,” which lobbied successfully for an amendment to the state’s constitution to ban same-sex unions. The amendment was approved by 61 percent of North Carolina voters in 2012.
Harris is competing with five other candidates for U.S. Senate in the Republican primary scheduled May 6.
Huckabee, who is said to be mulling over the possibility of running again for president, endorsed Harris as a “true conservative who will join us in fighting against the status quo in Washington,” according to comments quoted in the Charlotte Observer.