As the Kentucky primary approaches on June 23, Democratic candidates for the 4th Congressional District, currently held by Republican Thomas Massie, are prepared for a close race.
Dr. Alexandra Owensby, a Ft. Thomas nurse practitioner, is facing off against Shannon Fabert, a business consultant from Hebron.
Owensby pitches herself as a moderate, while Fabert hopes to be a part of the "unbridled blue wave," according to her website. Each candidate refused to attack the other, instead focusing their words on Massie and making their cases for why they should represent Kentucky in Washington, D.C.
"What I'm passionate about is change and change management," Fabert said. "I know how to do that and I believe the 4th is ready for change and wants somebody that will do more than (Massie) has."
Fabert noted that the 4th is a very large district — spanning from the suburbs of Louisville in the west to Ashland in the east — but that there are common problems that tie the region together.
"I'm hearing from the people of the 4th, 'We're tired of feeling left out,' and 'We're tired of being left behind,' " she said. "We have much more common ground, regardless of our geography, than we know."
Owensby shared a similar notion of creating unity, not only throughout the geographic diversity of the district, but between party lines as well.
"Our current representative is an extremist," she said. "We are a country that has so many polarizing figures at its helm, and that's dividing us because we're focusing on where we are different from each other instead of the 90% of the places where we are the same. More than anything, we need a moderate, center-of-the-road voice that can bring hope and unity to our district."
Both candidates emphasized health care as their most important issue. Fabert stated her support for a "Medicare for all that want it" plan, similar to what former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg proposed. The response to COVID-19 is also on the front of both candidates' minds.
"We desperately need health care providers at the forefront of managing this response and making sure that we come up with clear evidence-based solutions so we don't end up in the same situation where we are right now, where the economy is tanking and we don't have clear direction on what to do from our government," Owensby said.
No matter the outcome of the primary election, the prevailing Democrat will have a tough challenge facing off against either Massie or his primary challenger Todd McMurtry in the general election. Combined, the two Democrats have raised about $80,000 according to FEC filings, while Massie alone has raised over $800,000.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has encouraged all voters to vote by mail instead of in person. Eligible voters can request mail-in ballots by June 15 from GoVoteKY.com.