My heart is heavy tonight as I mourn the death of one of the smartest and most fun political strategists that I’ve ever met.
Tucker Watkins died Saturday morning after a battle with cancer. I was dumbfounded when I heard the news because he had just posted about casting his absentee ballot a few days ago. His cancer was discovered during a medical procedure and he immediately went into a tough battle against it. Tucker became an avid reader of HalifaxCentral (the predecessor to SouthsideCentral) and once I started taking on the political world, he had to weigh in with his hot tips, criticisms and compliments about my articles.
Tucker had absolutely no problem telling me his opinion on things and when I dared to disagree with him, he’d tell me that I was quite wrong too. If you were on the other side of the political aisle from him, you had to hate the man’s political strategy (because it usually worked against you)… but it was hard to hate Tucker himself because he always knew that an adult beverage or two was the starter to mending any differences that people had with each other’s political views. He salivated over every one of his Republican victories and got over the defeats quickly. Some of the younger party members didn’t like Tucker because he was an establishment, deal-maker Republican who was like Your Parent’s Republican. In true Tucker style, he shook off any criticism and kept doing things the way he’d always done them (and with his usual success). That’s one lesson I learned from the man… If you know you’re doing the right thing, don’t let others influence you to go in another direction.
About 6 weeks ago, I got a chance to wish him the best of luck in the cancer fight. In typical Tucker Watkins form, he thanked me for the well-wishes and then told me that I needed to write more things on SouthsideCentral. In one final thought, I’m laughing with him now by knowing that he’s completed his last act for the Republican party by voting for Romney, Allen & Hurt on an absentee ballot. Only a man like Tucker Watkins would make sure that his vote counted before he died.
Tucker Watkins was a fighting SOB who fought until his death and I’m a better person for having met him and becoming a good friend to him. Rest well, my friend.