Huckabee: Jay Ashcroft Will Bring Public Service Back to Where it Ought to be
Former Arkansas Governor and recent presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is now working to persuade voters in Missouri by endorsing Republican Secretary of State candidate Jay Ashcroft.
Speaking Thursday at the Ashcroft family farm near Willard, Huckabee said candidate Ashcroft embodies the public service spirit exhibited by his father, former Missouri Governor and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.
“I really believe that this is one of those cases where the fruit didn’t fall far from the tree. And Jay is representing not just the Ashcroft family but the integrity and the honor of bringing public service back to where it ought to be,” said Huckabee.
Huckabee called Ashcroft the only true conservative in the Secretary of State’s race, and one that can best execute the responsibilities of the office.
“The job of Secretary of State may not be one that people talk about every day at the breakfast table,” he said. “But what that job entails and what a person as Secretary of State does – in making sure the elections are fair, that they’re operated with integrity, making sure the records of the state are kept in proper order – it’s absolutely essential to a good government operation.”
Jay Ashcroft, an attorney from St. Louis County, says if elected his goal is to protect the votes of the public. The candidate indicated he played a leading role in the passage of a voter ID bill in this year’s legislative session, which will appear on this fall’s general election ballot. Last year, he filed an initiative petition to place voter ID on the ballot.
“People across the state helped us collect signatures, the House introduced it,” said Ashcroft. “Representative [Tony] Dugger took the amendment that I had filed and introduced it – the leadership in the House was very helpful – and now because it’s passed and the people of the state will vote on it in November.”
The Senate handler of the bill, Republican Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit, is Ashcroft’s primary opponent in the Secretary of State’s race. He’s criticized Ashcroft for not submitting the petition and calling for the release of petition signatures, a stance he reiterated when speaking to KSMU Thursday.
Ashcroft said the reason he didn’t submit the petition is very clear – it’s already on the ballot. And those that signed wanted to vote on a photo ID bill, which they’ll get to do without a submitted petition.
“If I then go ahead and submit those signatures all that personal data that they’re required to submit with a petition becomes public data. And that’s just not right. I think, especially someone that’s running for Secretary of State – that’s in charge of the state records – should understand privacy and data protection and should protect the privacy of the people.”
Ashcroft also wants to go after those that are committing voter fraud by over registering, and says as Secretary of State he would help “get the economy back on track.”
“We need a Secretary of State that’s not focused on headlines and going after businesses, but that’s focused on helping businesses to operate correctly and fairly and treat customers well, so that we’ll have a growth of businesses and a growth of jobs.”
Ashcroft, his father and Huckabee spoke to reporters ahead of the inaugural Ashcroft Faith ‘N Freedom Festival at their farm. Roughly 300 people attended to hear from the candidate and enjoy live music and food. Helpers at the event wore "I support Voter ID" t-shirts with Jay Ashcroft's name printed on the back.