On The Campaign Trail With Amy Tuck

On our day with the Lt. Governor, Tuck had a full schedule of South Mississippi stops. Cingular in the morning, a Singing River Hospital talk just before lunch.

Amy Tuck: "I hope I can count on your support, I need it."

For an hour, Tuck shook hands with the Cingular staff.

Tuck: "Well, I tell you what, I appreciate you letting me serve though. I thank you for that."

She met one man who was excited about his first election season.

Tuck: "And I'm glad to meet you today. And look, now that you're registered, I hope you'll vote Tuck. Good to see you."

The race is close. So Tuck must mingle with as many voters as she can.

Brad Kessie: "When you come to a place like this and you see all these people that are here, what goes through your mind?"

Tuck: "I want to make sure I meet every one of them, that's the first thing."

Kessie: "I know about your passion as Lt. Governor. So what's your passion as Amy Tuck the person?"

Tuck: "Well, I tell you what my passion was before the campaign got into high gear. I had started working out a lot, and that has kind of gone by the wayside here lately. I haven't had time to do that."

Kessie: "How much sleep are you getting right now?"

Tuck: "Not a whole lot. Not a whole lot."

Kessie: "So at what point does the battery run out?"

Tuck: "Well you have to, every now and then you have to make sure you take your vitamins. But I get energized when I'm out among people across the state. We've got 22 days and we're going to work hard."

Tuck met dozens of potential voters at Cingular Wireless. One of them made her laugh.

Tuck: "Did you hear what that guy asked?"

Kessie: "No what?"

Tuck: "He said, 'I just need to ask you one question'. And I said 'sure'. I thought it would be about tort reform, education. He said, 'how do stand that guy putting that camera in your face'. Ha ha."

Kessie: "And your answer was?"

Tuck: "Well, he's nice. He's nice. You get used to it."

The bright lights of the political stage consume this 41 year old woman from the east central Mississippi town of Maben. Nearly a third of her life has been spent an hour or so west of Maben, inside the state capitol, either as a page, a senator, or the Lt. Governor.

Kessie: "What are you proudest of? And I'm not talking on a political level. I'm talking about on a personal level. When you look at Amy Tuck the person, what are you proudest of?"

Tuck: "Well it does go back to the political though for me. Because I'm proud that the people have placed their trust in me to serve in the second highest office. Because the Lt. Governor, you can make positive things happen for other people. And that's what I've been able to do as Lt. Governor."

Kessie: "It almost sounds like you are a politician through and through. Is that true?"

Tuck: "Well, if you run for public office, it's hard not to say you're a politician. But I refer to it more as a public servant... I'm really proud a lot of democrats across the state are still supporting me. And that means a lot."

Amy Tuck loves talking about politics. But that wasn't the focus of our visit with her.

Kessie: "Is there anything on a personal level that you think people should know that maybe they don't know about Amy Tuck?"

Tuck: "Well, I hope that they know I have a wonderful, supporting family. And I think that's important."

Tuck grew up in Maben -- a small east central Mississippi town near Meridian. Her life wasn't always picture perfect.

Tuck: "Well my father passed away when I was about 12 years old. There's many times in my life, I just wish my father could be here. But certainly, it's tough when your mother is going through cancer. But then again, now, as she says, she's a survivor, and we're excited about that."

It was Mom who instilled many of the values of this 41 year old Methodist.

Tuck: "She is someone who has proven to me just hang in there, have strong faith, and you can accomplish a lot. You know, I'm proud of my faith, I'm proud of the fact that I've been able to use that and try to keep God in public life."

Tuck admits that her mother's fight against cancer is one of the factors behind her desire for stricter tort reform legislation.

Tuck: "So yes, certainly that has played heavy. But as Lt. Governor, I work for everybody across the state. And I want the same thing for them that I want for my mother."

Kessie: "If you weren't doing this, if you weren't the Lt. Governor, do you ever stop and think about what you would be doing?"

Tuck: "Well, I taught at Wood College. I taught business law there, and I loved it. So that was something that I enjoyed. But this is full time, isn't it Sen. Moffatt."

Sen. Tommy Moffatt was at this Tuck campaign stop.

Tuck: "How are you doing today? I'm Amy Tuck. What's your name?"

Tuck used her political savvy and Moffatt's Jackson County connections while she mingled with potential voters. It turns out the map she used to get around Cingular Wireless was somewhat similar to the map she designed for herself back in law school.

Kessie: "If I would have told you 15 years ago that you were going to someday be a politician and someday run for Lt. Gov, be elected once and try to be elected a second time, what would you have said to me 15 years ago?"

Tuck: "Fifteen years ago. Gosh I have no idea. Fifteen years ago. When I was in college, I enjoyed government relations. And I was a page when I was in high school. So I thought I would love an opportunity to serve. I didn't know I would have a chance so early as I did. I don't know, 15 years ago, I don't know what I would have thought. It worked out great."