Kentucky Democrats are positioning themselves for the November election cycle hoping to make gains in the Republican Controlled state legislature. House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes are leading the charge at political events including the recent Purchase Area Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.
Adkins fired-up a room of more than 200 Democrats Friday evening. He said during his 31 years in politics, this is the most “mobilized and energized” he has seen the party.
“People are engaged in a way I have never seen. I travel and I see crowds like this all across Kentucky--people who have had enough,” Adkins said.
Adkins said a new group has been mobilized because of what he calls an attack on working families across the Commonwealth.
“This is war on working families [...] the passage of right-to-work for less and the repeal of prevailing wage--let me tell you what I think builds a strong economy, it is not the top one percent it is the blue-collar middle class,” Adkins called out to the crowd, asking if they too have “had enough.”
Adkins reminded the room that there is less than six months until the November elections. He said the key to winning will be “the old democratic way.”
“We got to earn it. We got to outwork them [...] on the ground, and in the trenches eyeball to eyeball,” Adkins said.
Adkins and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes were the top-billed speakers. Grimes called for a “return to civility” in politics and forward thinking to generate new revenue streams.
“We have to be investing in leaders that want to think about investing in things like casino gaming. We have to be investing in leaders that believe our veterans deserve a quality of life; and yes, there are millions and billions right here in our western farms by the way of medical marijuana that we should be legalizing in Kentucky,” Grimes said.
Grimes said the upcoming elections won’t be decided by urban districts, but by voters in small towns. Those voters, she says, will be the way for Democrats to regain control of the state House of Representatives. Grimes also noted that many Democratic candidates during this cycle are women.
Many of those women wondered aloud, “will Alison run for governor?”
Grimes didn’t announce any gubernatorial plans but did say that it is women that will represent “the new force behind the blue wave.”
Gallimore said his primary focus for candidacy is substance abuse.
“Number one, is substance abuse. Meth and opioids have become a huge problem. A lot of us don't see that in our everyday circles, it is devastating the consequences that meth has on our community here,” Gallimore said. “Number two, I would like to build a better partnership with the city of Murray and Murray State University. Number three, funding for community resources like the public library,” Gallimore said with a roaring round of applause.
Ramey said he would be talking a lot about things in 2018 that he discussed in 2016.
“Many of us across the state, sounded the alarm bells about this administration, about republican policies that would attack public education, attack public employees and attack this great university that I love and is the number one employer in this district,” Ramey said he believes in moving Kentucky forward and a leader who will fight in Frankfort.
Ramey said a that a vote for his opponent, current Calloway County Judge Executive Larry Elkins, would be “a vote for Matt Bevin and his war on Kentucky's teachers and public employees.”
Walker is a professor at Murray State University, he said he is often asked why he chose to run for Congress.
“The time was right for me to go from one public service to another; to be able to step-up and not only have my students learn but help them not have so much student loan debt, help them get better jobs, help them have benefits-- that all of the benefits going ahead of them that others have had opportunities for,” Walker said.
Walker said everyday people are waking up wondering what is happening to the country. “We know that our president is conceding to dictators and trying to become one himself. There are children being ripped from their parents, at the border, talking about walls being built. I meant the list goes on and on,” Walker said.
Walker was presented with a $500 contribution from the Calloway County democrats for his campaign and Ramey was presented the “Zee Enix Democrat of the Year” award.