When I hear someone use the label “a true conservative,” I think of President Ronald Reagan and Senator John McCain. These two men served our nation with nothing but dignity and respect. President Reagan led the United States during a time of diplomatic unrest, which included the Cold War with the Soviet Union. He was not afraid to stand in West Berlin and call on Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall while not being hesitant to use the strength of the military when provoked. Senator John McCain was the embodiment of country over party. He was not afraid to vote against a conservative piece of legislation or support a liberal idea if it were to benefit his constituents.
Even with all of their achievements, the measure of a true conservative is how the values a person holds themselves to. There is no person that could say that President Ronald Reagan did not have honor, dignity, and respect in the way he served as president. Senator John McCain had total respect for President Obama and even called him a “decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with.”
So, how does that connect with the title of this column?
Ned Hancock and Kaylee Tuck are both lifetime conservatives running for Florida House District 55. They both have nearly the same beliefs, come from the same areas, but their campaigns are like black and white. Ned Hancock’s campaign has focused completely on Ned Hancock himself, his values, and his many endorsements. On the contrary, much of Kaylee Tuck’s campaign has ran heavily on being pro-Trump, pro-gun, and most notably, labeling herself as the true conservative. Tuck and her supporters have relentlessly shared a link to an article outlining a few campaign contributions that Hancock made to a few Democratic candidates. The author of the article even labels him as “Liberal Ned.”
That raises the question, are these three things the only thing Kaylee Tuck believes in? Not everything a Florida House representative votes on will be on gun rights or legislation to advance President Trump’s agenda. Instead, voters want someone in office who will work to benefit the district they live in.
House District 55 is mainly agricultural and health industries. Ned Hancock recently announced the endorsement of the Florida Medical Association and he has served on the Florida Citrus Commission. Kaylee Tuck’s pro-Trump and pro-gun stance will not have much of an impact as Hancock’s beliefs. As for those donations, it is almost certain that he supported the most qualified candidate in those races instead of blindly voting conservatively. That is what being a representative is about, representing the interests of the constituents and not just the party.
It is without a doubt that Kaylee Tuck has all the ideas of a conservative but that does not make her a true conservative. In everything I have seen from Ned Hancock’s campaign, he has not once mentioned Kaylee Tuck nor has he attacked her. Tuck and her supporters have attacked him nonstop as a false conservative. Hancock is focusing on the issues at hand and promoting his qualifications for this office. Kaylee Tuck is solely running on being pro-Trump and pro-gun. Honor and respect are what make a person a true conservative, not just your beliefs. Not only does Ned Hancock campaign with honor and respect, he is more than qualified for the office. These three things are what make Ned Hancock the true conservative running for House District 55.
Miguel Arceo is a student athlete at Sebring High School.