LITTLE ROCK — Appearing in the KATV studio Wednesday with moderators Roby Brock of Talk Business and Politics and KATV anchor Chris May, Clarke Tucker came away from the evening with a dominant performance among invited candidates. From pre-existing conditions and health care coverage to national security and foreign policy, the topics were wide-ranging and lasted over 60 minutes as Tucker took dozens of questions from moderators and voters in the district. Congressman French Hill was invited last month by KATV and Talk Business and politics, but declined the opportunity to take questions from Arkansans, leaving Tucker the hour to speak with voters.
“It says a lot about Congressman Hill’s record that he won’t show up here tonight,” Tucker said. “If you are running for elected office, you should be accountable and accessible to the people, and that is exactly what we’re doing in this race and what I will do in Congress.”
Central to the forum and to Tucker’s candidacy is the issue of health care and pre-existing condition coverage. A young cancer survivor, Tucker is telling his story as he campaigns across the district, saying his experience battling cancer informed his perspective and candidacy for U.S. Congress. Congressman Hill voted last year for a bill that would allow insurance companies to charge those with pre-existing conditions much higher, potentially-unaffordable premiums.
“My diagnosis really drove home that cancer does not have a political party; hunger does not have a political party; hopes and dreams don’t have a political party,” Tucker said. “When I saw Congressman Hill vote for the American Health Care Act, which would have stripped 23 million Americans of their health insurance, and then go celebrate about it in the Rose Garden with his buddies, I knew I had to run.”
Last month, the Tucker campaign twice invited Congressman Hill to three joint-appearances but has not received a response from the Hill campaign.