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story.lead_photo.caption Lynn Atkins/ Governor Asa Hutchinson introduced his long time colleague Mike Hutchinson to the Republicans gathered for dinner at Pea Ridge High School last week.

Two Arkansas governors, one past and one present, joined a host of Republican city, county and party officials for dinner at Pea Ridge High School on Wednesday, Feb. 1. It was the annual Benton County Republican Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner with 350 tickets sold.

Both Governor Asa Hutchinson and former Governor Mike Huckabee spoke to the enthusiastic crowd. Both first lady Susan Hutchinson and former first lady Janet Huckabee were present.

Huckabee, a candidate for president in 2016, said he was glad his "second choice" for president, Donald Trump was elected.

He called the election the chance for the people to fire the government. Trump isn't a conventional politician, he said. Trump is a disruptor and that's what the public wanted.

Trump is pro life, Huckabee said, and that's a good reason to support him.

He also believes that while Trump may not be an evangelical Christian, he will respect their belief and that's important, too.

Both Hutchinson and Huckabee were supportive of Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

"The court," Huckabee said, "has not been doing its job."

Instead, the Supreme Court has been trying to legislate change. According to the Constitution, the judicial branch is equal to the legislative branch and there should be checks and balances to make sure neither branch is superior. Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, understands the role of the court and will not overstep.

When he spoke about Arkansas, Huckabee contrasted state politics now and what it was like when he was governor between 1996 and 2007. When he was elected lieutenant governor in 1992, he was the only Republican elected to a state office and he found the door to his office was literally nailed shut. Now, Hutchinson has a Republican majority in both the state Senate and the House.

Huckabee credited Hutchinson with helping turn Arkansas "bright red." Hutchinson was the state Republican chairman in the 1990s.

Dinner for the 350 people in attendance was prepared and served by Pea Ridge High School culinary arts students under the supervision of teacher ​Sherry Rickard. They all volunteered their time, school superintendent Rick Neal said.

The annual event moves throughout Benton County. Huckabee said he remembered attending the same event when he was new to the governor's office.

General News on 02/08/2017

Print Headline: Hutchinson, Huckabee hosted

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