Mike Huckabee filed to run for re-election for a second full term in March 2002 at the same time as his wife, Janet Huckabee, filed to run for Secretary of State of Arkansas. They became the first governor and spouse to run on the same ballot for state offices. Huckabee easily won the Republican primary on May 21 defeating retired banker Doyle Cannady.
Huckabee's record as Governor became an issue in the election with Fisher's campaign attacking Huckabee for granting clemency to violent criminals, including a rapist. However Huckabee responded that he had signed more death warrants and executed more people than any other governor of Arkansas. Huckabee called on voters to support him due to the progress in education, health care and the economy during his period as governor. Huckabee also criticised Fisher for receiving help from former governor Bill Clinton, describing him as having had his turn.
Huckabee's lead in the polls declined as the election neared, with a poll in September showing him with a 12% lead and one in mid-October showing him 10% ahead. Near the end of October a poll showed Huckabee only 2% ahead of Fisher. Huckabee's campaign was hurt by his wife's struggling campaign to become Arkansas secretary of state; voters were concerned over the couple holding too much power, with polls showing Janet Huckabee over 20% behind. In late October a fundraising letter from Huckabee's campaign described it as in crisis. Huckabee was also sued by his daughter Sarah in his role as governor in a lawsuit he wanted to lose. This came after a state court ordered that students should be removed from the voting rolls in Arkadelphia. Huckabee suggested his daughter join a federal lawsuit which succeeded in getting the students restored.
Huckabee won the election by 53% to 47%, however his wife was decisively defeated in the Secretary of State election. After his victory Huckabee received a call from PresidentGeorge W. Bush to congratulate him.