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Huckabee Keeps Holdings in Arm's Reach

Editor's note: This is the seventh installment of a series examining the investment holdings and affiliations of the likely 2008 presidential candidates. Click here for our stories on Bill Richardson, Sen. Christopher Dodd, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Barack Obama and Rudy Giuliani.

If Bill Clinton's time in the White House is any guide, presidential politics and investments in Arkansas are a bad combination. Now another guy from Hope is trying to change all that.

Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has money riding on the beleaguered banking sector in his home state, and his close ties to the industry leave him well connected to keep tabs on his investment.

"The Huck," as he's known in Arkansas, owns between $50,000 and $100,000 worth of Home Bancshares (HOMB), a collection of community banks in Arkansas and Florida that went public last year.

The largest stakeholders in the company have been contributors to Huckabee's political campaigns, its founders were appointed by him to positions in state government, and a local investment bank that financed the hot IPO and now touts the stock also happens to be the largest donor to Huckabee's current bid for the White House.

In the latest installment of its investigation into the investments and business relations of the major presidential candidates for 2008, unravels the web of relationships between Huckabee, whose net worth was disclosed in a public filing to be anywhere from $350,000 to $900,000, and his local bank.

Ties That Bind

Famous for losing more than 100 pounds in recent years and preaching his antiflab gospel across the country, the onetime Southern Baptist minister recently disclosed that he earned the bulk of his income last year by peddling his latest book, From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 STOPS to Restoring America's Greatness.

To watch Nat Worden's video take of this column, click here .

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