Republican presidential candidate MIKE HUCKABEE signed off as Arkansas Governor by handing Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richards a pardon. The former hellraiser had a 32-year-old traffic violation on his record, until rock fan and bass guitar player Huckabee offered to wipe his slate clean when he left office last year (07). Huckabee - who leads the race to represent the Republican Party in the battle for the White House - reveals, "One of my last acts as governor was to issue a pardon for a traffic violation that he had in 1975 when he and (bandmate) Ronnie Wood were driving through Arkansas. He got pulled over for a reckless-driving charge. "I was a college student when it happened, and I was so embarrassed. I thought 'Golly, we finally got The Rolling Stones in Arkansas, and what do we do?' "They played a concert while I was governor, and I was invited backstage to meet the band. I'm having this conversation with Keith, and he's telling me that he'd been in Arkansas before. And I said, 'Keith, I can pardon you and get that off your record. You can have a clean start in Arkansas.'"