Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck used her own career in lawmaking as an example
as she called upon more than 400 Girls State participants Monday
to stay active in the political process throughout their lives.
before you to say that if I can be elected to the state Senate,
then later on be elected as your lieutenant governor, you can do
it," Tuck said.
Tuck told delegates
to the 56th annual Girls State session at The University of Southern
Mississippi that state government should not be viewed as a "spectator
sport." She stressed the importance of finding candidates who
possess the qualities one looks for in a leader, then being active
in support of them.
how I began," Tuck said.
Tuck told Girls
State participants that her first experience in politics came as
a page in the state Senate. She encouraged anyone with the opportunity
to serve as a page to do so, saying that for her, the service sparked
an interest in the lawmaking process that has lasted her entire
became excited about the possibility that one day maybe I would
have the opportunity to serve," Tuck said.
She did serve,
eventually running for a state Senate seat herself. Tuck was sworn
in at age 26, and was at that time the youngest person ever to serve
in Mississippi's state Senate.
her theme of political involvement, Tuck reminded Girls State participants
of the importance of registering to vote and stressed that their
participation could make a difference.
one vote that decided we would speak English," Tuck said, referring
to Congress' vote early in the nation's history to select English
as the national language over German.
Tuck told the
Girls State participants that their early involvement in politics
would serve both them and Mississippi well.
State represents the best of the best," she said. "You've
got those characteristics and qualities that Mississippi needs in
its future leaders."
Moving on to
the issues of the day, Tuck told Girls State participants it was
important to support small business in the state.
excited to have Nissan in our state," Tuck said. "We have
great job opportunities there. But we also have to be supportive
of our small businesses, because that's our heartbeat too."
Tuck said that
Mississippi has approximately 40,000 businesses that employ 20 or
fewer people. "One day you're going to fall into that category,"
she told Girls State participants. "Maybe your parents already
Among the things
state government can do to improve the small business climate is
continue civil justice reform, or "tort reform," Tuck
She also touched
on the need for the state to continue focusing on education, especially
as it applies to developing a highly trained workforce.
a number of topics during a brief question-and-answer session, including
her own much-publicized switch from the Democratic to the Republican
party late last year.
tell you this, Amy Tuck is still the same person that she has been,"
Tuck said. "I will continue to fight for the issues that are
important to every Mississippian."
a 17-year-old senior from Warren Central High School in Vicksburg,
said that she was happy Tuck had spoken at Girls State. "She
did a good job," Vollor said. "I enjoyed her speech."
is sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary. It is designed to
educate high school senior girls on the process of government through
a series of campaigns and mock elections for various offices in
the fictitious state of Magnolia. The session will run through Friday.