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Kaylee Tuck first candidate to qualify in HD 55

She faces Ned Hancock in the GOP primary for an open seat.

Sebring Republican Kaylee Tuck has officially gathered enough signatures to qualify as a candidate in Florida House District 55.

“I am honored that almost 900 of my friends and neighbors in House District 55 have placed my name on the ballot,” Tuck said.

Tuck in June became the first Republican candidate to enter the race. She has set herself apart with significant endorsements, notably former U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney.

The land-use lawyer, who works for Fort Myers-based Henderson Franklin Attorneys at Law boasts significant political connections in the region.

But she has trailed in fundraising to citrus grower Ned Hancock, who has seen support from several agricultural players in Southwest Florida.

Tuck isn’t worried.

“This race will not be determined by who raises the most money or who has the most endorsements,” she said.

“It will be determined at the doorstep and that is where we have already spent countless hours. I look forward to continuing to spread my Conservative message to our neighbors in the Heartland. This race has one consistent conservative candidate running in it and I am that candidate.”

Campaigning in the district so far this year, Tuck said she’s winning over individuals. That’s shows, she said, in the fact so many signed petitions to back her candidacy. She expects to turn many of those signers into Tuck voters by the time the Republican Party rolls around next year.

“My district wants to know that they are electing someone who represents their values,” Tuck said.

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“I am a lifelong Republican who has always supported the party, its values, and its candidates.”

Tuck and Hancock are competing to succeed state Rep. Cary Pigman, who cannot run again thanks to term limits. The district itself leans heavily conservative, and Pigman in 2018 won election over Democrat Audrey Asciutto with about 66% of the vote.

Democrat Tony Munnings Sr. has also filed to run.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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