FRANKFORT — A retired U.S. Army officer from Brandenburg plans to seek the Democratic Party nomination to challenge Republican Second District Congressman Brett Guthrie.
Ron Leach, who will turn 49 this Friday, is a southern Ohio native and a retired 29-year career military officer who now lives in Brandenburg.
Leach will likely make the elimination of a brigade combat team at Ft. Knox an issue, according to his campaign manager Lacey Connelly. Leach was stationed at Ft. Knox when he retired.
Leach recently penned a letter-to-the editor to newspapers around Ft. Knox criticizing “federal representatives” for being taken by surprise by the announcement of the Ft. Knox cutbacks which will likely cost the area as many as 10,000 jobs. The letter did not mention Guthrie by name.
Like Leach, Guthrie is a former military officer, having graduated from West Point before earning a Master’s Degree from Yale.
But in a brief telephone interview Monday, Leach said he couldn’t understand the apparent surprise by Guthrie about the Ft. Knox announcement following more than a year of discussion about downsizing the military.
He said Guthrie should have been aware of the possibility of cutbacks at Ft. Knox and “pushed back against it” because the brigade had only come to Ft. Knox in 2009 after significant investments in infrastructure and by the local communities.
Connelly said Leach will promote policies to “grow the middle class with broader equality and opportunity.”
“I’ve been a farmer, teacher, medical professional and a soldier but never a politician,” Leach said in a press release announcing his candidacy. “I can’t sit by when Congress cares more about satisfying lobbyists and special interests than helping working families. That has to change, and I’m running to change it.”
Guthrie, an Alabama native who now lives in Bowling Green, was first elected in 2008 when he defeated Owensboro state Democratic Sen. David Boswell after incumbent Republican Ron Lewis decided not to run for re-election. In 2010, Guthrie easily defeated Owensboro contractor Ed Marksberry.