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Kaylee Tuck, Ned Hancock

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Ned Hancock, Kaylee Tuck hit mailboxes as HD 55 primary revs up

Tens of thousands fuel direct mail in the geographic expansive district.

Flyers hit mailboxes throughout House District 55 with rancher Ned Hancock promising a “farmer’s work ethic” in fighting a pandemic. In a separate mailer, he criticizes government officials who released prisoners or regulated churches in the outbreak.

It’s part of more than $60,000 in marketing materials released by the Avon Park Republican. Financial reports on spending from June 13-26 show he dropped $47,786 in those two weeks alone ahead of the August 18 GOP primary.

Republican opponent Kaylee Tuck spent $24,226 in the same period of time.

Both candidates have raised more than six figures in the contest, with Tuck tallying $114,662 plus a $5,000 loan while Hancock reported $216,197 worth of donations. Most of that will be spent before the August primary for an open seat in a deep red district.

LaBelle Democrat Linda Tripp has raised $2,444 and awaits the GOP nominee in November. Joining the race shortly before qualification, and as Tony Munnings failed to qualify, most of her money thus far was spent on qualification.

The last few weeks brought a step up in spending for both Republicans in the field.

In a display of the different demands running in a geographically large and rural district, much of that has gone toward mail.

Tuck spent $23,092 with Largo-based Golden Jaguar Consulting, with direct mail providing the biggest ticket items there. She’s also been hitting her opponent as #LiberalNed in social media efforts that include raising a $100 donation Hancock made to Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried’s campaign two years ago.

Hancock started his big spends sooner and has pumped more money into the race already. In the latest filing period, he spent $37,670 with Jupiter-based Public Concepts, including nearly $10,000 on direct mail and another nearly $25,000 on additional advertising. He dropped another $10,000 with DMG & Associates in Vero Beach.

The candidates have also unrolled endorsements to sway voters.

For Hancock, that has included local leaders like Highlands County Commission Chairman Ron Handley, Glades County Commissioner Weston Pryor and Highlands County Superintendent of Schools Wally Cox.

Meanwhile, Rep. Chris Latvala has been in the district campaigning on the ground for Tuck. The attorney also touted a recent A-grade from the National Rifle Association.

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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