House bid by 'Moonshiners' Steven Ray Tickle meets resistance

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Virginia,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Republican Party,2014 Elections,Campaigns,Television

He’s only one day into his unofficial campaign for a southern Virginia House seat in the 2014 midterm elections, but Steven Ray Tickle, star of his own reality show “Tickle” and co-star of the Discovery Channel hit “Moonshiners” is facing some pushback from Republicans.

After Tickle Obamacare-crap/article/2536646">revealed his campaign to Secrets Tuesday, Republican campaign operatives and donors told us that the TV celebrity would likely be considered a conservative and, as a result, rob votes away from incumbent Republican House Rep. Robert Hurt, who represents the southern Virginia congressional district Tickle is eyeing his bid in.

“He'd take votes from Hurt and that could turn the seat over to the Democrats,” warned one House leadership advisor who also played a role in trying to lure “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson to run as a Republican in an open Louisiana race.

“He sounds just conservative enough, and has enough celebrity, to damage Hurt,” added a top GOP donor.

Tickle said that his potential House bid is not a publicity stunt. “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.

He said that he would run as an independent because he agrees with some of the positions of both parties, but not all. “I can’t see myself conforming to what anybody else wants me to conform to,” he said. For example, Tickle is a union carpenter who doesn’t support Obamacare.

Hurt is popular in his district that stretches from Charlottesville to the North Carolina border. He won with 55.4 percent of the vote in his 2012 re-election. He was elected to the House in 2010, the year of the big Tea Party sweep.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.