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Former First Lady Janet Huckabee complained to the Governor's Mansion administrator at a recent private event that she felt slighted, since neither her name nor former Gov. Mike Huckabee's name was included as a host on the invitation.

The April 15 event, which celebrated the publication of John Gill's "Open House: The Governor's Mansion and Its Place in History," was hosted by Gov. and Mrs. Beebe and the Governor's Mansion Association. Sales of the book benefit the association; name plates featuring the autographs of the six living governors — Beebe, Huckabee, Jim Guy Tucker, Bill Clinton, Dale Bumpers and David Pryor — were given to guests who purchased the books.

Once the former president scheduled, organizers notified the other governors of the event date. Huckabee could not attend because of a conflict, and so the invitation, which listed the other governors as "special guests," omitted his name.

Janet Huckabee told Ron Maxwell, mansion administrator, her husband had not been given enough notice, though it was the same notice the other governors got, three weeks, and she thought his name should have been on the invitation.

Observers described the encounter as a "chewing out." Maxwell said it was not; unfortunately, the conversation occurred at the front door, as many of the 300 guests were filing out.

None of the wives in attendance were formally introduced, which Maxwell said he regrets.


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