After a strong showing in the Kentucky Democratic primary, defeating Shanon Fabert by nearly 12,000 votes, Dr. Alexandra Owensby will now face incumbent Rep. Thomas Massie, who won handily over challenger Todd McMurtry, in the Nov. 3 general election.
Owensby carried every county in Kentucky's 4th District, and is hoping to turn that momentum into a campaign to unseat Northern Kentucky's four-term representative.
Owensby, a registered nurse from Ft. Thomas, pitches herself as the moderate alternative to Massie, who she calls an "extremist."
"The big difference is that he's an extremist and I'm not," she says. "He votes against any government oversight when the reality is that most people don't share those extremist views. Kentuckians are tired of somebody not standing up for the people of the district and the businesses in the district."
Owensby was registered as politically independent until filing for candidacy to represent the Democratic Party on the ballot. She is hoping that her moderate views can court Republican voters displeased with Massie's tenure as representative.
"The thing about Kentucky and the 4th District is that even the Democrats tend to be more moderate," she says. "As a representative, your job is not to be a voice for whatever particular whim you are feeling that day, your job is to be a voice for everybody in that area."
As a medical professional, Owensby has criticized the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and noted that expanding mail-in ballots for the November election is critical to keeping the state safe. Gov. Andy Beshear ordered that mail-in ballot eligibility be expanded to all voters in the primary election due to the threat of spreading COVID-19 at polling places, which caused delays in returning results.
With her campaign’s focus shifting from the primary to the general election, Owensby said the learning process of her first primary has affected how she campaigns.
"We turned from a candidate into a representative," she said. "Somebody has to be a voice for communities and speak out, but Massie isn't speaking out for them."
According to Owensby, the key difference between her and Massie is how they connect to voters.
"(Massie) doesn't do town halls, he doesn't show up anywhere in person to campaign," she says. "He has very limited contact with the voters of the 4th District because he doesn't care what they have to say."