POLITICS
02/12/2014 11:59 am ET Updated Feb 12, 2014

Bill Clinton Repays His Former Campaign Driver, Arkansas Governor Candidate Mike Ross

Former President Bill Clinton, who served nearly 12 years as the governor of Arkansas before heading to the White House, sent a fundraising email Wednesday supporting the gubernatorial bid of former Rep. Mike Ross (D), who drove Clinton around the state when he ran for a second term in 1982.

"When I was running for governor of Arkansas in 1982, a talented and energetic young man named Mike Ross was a big help to me and my campaign," Clinton wrote in the email. "Mike drove me all over the state and I became close friends with him. I even had a hunch that someday he might run for governor himself."

Ross’s likely opponent in the general election for the seat of retiring Gov. Mike Beebe (D) is former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R), who was a leader of the effort to impeach President Clinton in 1998.

Ross chauffeured Clinton around Arkansas for nearly two years, during which time the two bonded in between campaign events.

Ross was a leading member of the more conservative Blue Dog Coalition of Democrats in the House of Representatives, where he served for 12 years.

Though Ross opposed the Affordable Care Act and voted with Republicans for a "forcible rape" bill, Clinton paints his record in Congress as a more progressive one.

"In Congress, Mike fought against Republican attempts to privatize Social Security and Medicare, and he consistently voted to raise the minimum wage," Clinton's email reads.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated Bill Clinton's tenure as governor of Arkansas. He served nearly 12 years and was elected to the job five times.

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