TUCK AND ROLL
It won’t make national headlines, but Republicans in Mississippi picked up a new member on Monday when Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck switched parties. Tuck gained a bit of national notoriety in 2000, when she was one of the few state Democratic officials in the country who declined to endorse Al Gore for president. Since then rumors of her jumping to the GOP have been rampant.
Tuck’s decision was interesting in that some thought it might lead her to make a play for a run for governor. That election in next year. But Tuck made her announcement flanked by both Mississippi Sens. Trent Lott and Thad Cochran, and one of the speakers was the presumptive GOP gubernatorial candidate, Haley Barbour.
“Barbour was one of the people encouraging her to make the switch,” says a Barbour protégé. “He wouldn’t have been pushing if she was competition.”
Barbour remains a favorite to run in 2003, and will look to Tuck to help with the female vote. Tuck is expected now to run for re-election. Prior to her winning the lieutenant governorship, she served in the state senate.
CASH AND KERRY
Sen. John Kerry might not like being categorized as a “Massachusetts liberal,” but it’s his own fault. After all, this is a guy who is going to have old Mike Dukakis advisers John Sasso and Bob Shrum on his presidential campaign team.
Kerry will be out raising money for his presidential campaign exploratory committee over the next two weeks. He has fundraisers scheduled in Florida, California and Pennsylvania. The California events should net him more than $100,000.
“We’ve been working the money things for months now,” says a Kerry adviser. “We’re ready to go. No one is going to beat us in states like California, where we’ve had a fundraising operation for close to a year.”
One problem, however, is that Kerry early on focused much of his fundraising and name identification work in Silicon Valley, where he thought there would be money to spare on election donations. Now much of that work has dried up with the tech crash. “We’ll have more than enough success out there,” the adviser says confidently.
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