Last year he ran for president in a campaign for the hit Discovery Channel show “Moonshiners,” but Steven Ray Tickle caught the political bug for real and is now considering a bid for Congress in southern Virginia, even as he debuts the first season of his own show aptly titled “Tickle.”
“I’m pretty serious about it because I’d like to take my status of what I’ve become on TV and be able to do some good with it. And that would be a place where I could do good with it, you know, look out for the man who I know who he is and he knows who I am,” Tickle told Secrets.
The potential candidate said that he’s not joking about running. As proof of how serious he is approaching it, he said that the new show won’t focus on his bid.
Among the reasons he wants to win a House seat is to bring a common-man sensibility to Washington. “Lots of these people who are in Congress and a whole lot of political offices have never really had to work a day in their life, they don’t know what it is to say, ‘Where is my utility bill payment coming from this month.’ ‘What am I going to do for rent?’” said Tickle, who lived in the Washington area for two years recently as a top carpenter while building the popular Clyde's restaurant near the Verizon Center downtown.
Republican Rep. Robert Hurt
While he lives in the heart of Tea Party country, represented by conservative Republican Rep. Robert Hurt, Tickle is a union carpenter who would run as an independent. Both Hurt and Tickle are from rural Pittsylvania County.
Tickle doesn’t fit in politically with either party. “I can’t agree with everything on both sides and they tend to frown upon you when you don’t agree with all of their views,” he said.
Take Obamacare. He believes Americans should have access to health care, but not a system that lets federal officials opted out. “Any health care plan that tells government officials, ‘You know this is crap, you don’t have to take it, just vote on it,’ I don’t agree with that,” said Tickle. “Why not give our American people the very best health care we can?”
He also said he wouldn’t be afraid of people looking into his checkered past which includes a recent arrest for public intoxication. “There is no dirt to dig up, everybody already knows about me,” he cheered.
The Moonshiners co-star would be the first rural reality show star to run for Congress. Some GOP insiders tried to get “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson to run, but he turned them down.
His new show is on at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, and Tickle calls it a reality comedy.
Of course Tickle said he would give up the show and making moonshine if elected, but he would make his first priority passing legislation to legalize the depression-era hooch. He even plans to start a “Moonshine Caucus,” which he said would put the popular “Bourbon Caucus,” made up of Tennessee and Kentucky lawmakers, out of business.
“Anybody who’s ever had good moonshine and who’s had bourbon, would rather drink the moonshine,” he said with pride.Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.