Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 1, 2014

Ky. primary candidates visit Ashland

Election hopefuls have chance to meet locals

ASHLAND — A total of 27 candidates running for local and statewide races gathered at Park Place in Ashland to give locals an opportunity to meet one-on-one with them before heading to the polls for the May 20 primaries.

The event, hosted by the Boyd County Public Library, is held for each election, but organizer Amanda Clark said this year has been one of the largest turnouts for candidates.

“Of course, there are a lot of primary elections this year,” she said.

The meet-and-greet was non-partisan and candidates did not give speeches, but instead had informational booths on display for voters seeking more information about their campaigns.

When The Independent talked to Clark a few days prior to the event, she had collected 27 RSVP notifications from candidates. Among those who reserved spots were representatives for U.S. Senate incumbent Mitch McConnell, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Greg Leichty and Democrat Billy Ray Wilson, who is running for the 5th Congressional District seat against incumbent Hal Rogers.

However, a small case of musical chairs was played with the invites, but ultimately maintaining the original total of 27 candidates.

According to the list of RSVPs Clark had, the McConnell camp emailed a respectful decline to come earlier that day and Leichty neglected to show. But representatives for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and Boyd County Jailer candidate Charlie Hall showed up, effectively filling the open slots.

Naturally, a majority of the candidates at Park Place were running in Boyd County races, including all the hopefuls for judge-executive, jailer, sheriff and coroner.

All except one, District 3’s Randall Stapleton, running in Boyd commissioner races made an appearance, but the meet-and-greet was more focused on primary elections and Stapleton will not have an opponent in May.

Constable candidate for District 3 Richard VanHoose, D-Ashland, was also in attendance.

Clark said she is happy to organize a casual event for voters who are looking to get informed about candidate options before the election.

“I didn’t want it to be an event where candidates can get up and tell you what they want you to know. I wanted the public to be able to come in and talk to the candidates and get that one-on-one time to ask the questions they need answered,” she said.

Primary elections throughout Kentucky will be May 20.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

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