FRANKFORT Democrat Terri Branham Clark said she filed to run for state representative in the 100th District because she believes Kentucky public education is under attack.
Clark will face fellow Democrat Ann Perkins in the primary election. Incumbent Democrat Kevin Sinnette is not seeking reelection and is instead running for a Kentucky Court of Appeals judgeship.
Clark, of Catlettsburg, filed her paperwork on Tuesday before the state deadline. She said she’s contemplated the decision since last November.
“We were already represented [by Sinnette,] and I didn’t want to contest someone who was already working hard for our area,” said Clark. “Over the weekend, I just kind of watched the dynamics at play. I’ve gotten in to offer the abilities I have and to take the passion I have for Boyd County to Frankfort.”
Clark is a 51-year-old lifelong resident of Boyd County. Clark graduated from Paul G. Blazer High School, attended Ashland Community College and graduated from Marshall University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She’s currently working toward a master’s in public administration from Marshall University.
She said her family has been active in politics for decades on a behind-the-scenes basis. Clark’s father, Frank Branham, was a member of the Boyd County Democratic Executive Committee.
“It’s not that I’m new to the game as far as politics. It’s been a family occupation, generations back. We are taught it’s your responsibility to be politically active. Entering the arena as a candidate is new,” she said.
In the past 30 years Clark has served as a fundraiser for local nonprofits, and owned small businesses. She currently owns and operates Vida Loca Properties, Inc., a rental property company.
Clark served as development director for Hospice Inpatient Care with the task of raising $1.5 million to build a new facility. She previously served as development director for the Paramount Arts Center, and presided as the executive director of River Cities Harvest.
“I’ve worked with many people who had different opinions, and different views. We were able to all sit down at the table and work together to fund a nonprofit that’s providing a service. I view representing the 100th district with the same principle,” said Clark. “Whether they’re on my team or the other team, we can work together to find solutions for the betterment of the 100th district.”
Clark said the issue that drove her to run and find a solution to is the state of public education.
“Public education is the core foundation to every advancement in eastern Kentucky, and I feel like it’s under attack right now. My oldest daughter is a teacher already. She has three children. She can’t step out of her position to go do this fight. I can, and I have the passion to do it,” she said.
Education must be protected, as it is at the foundation of all issues impacting Boyd County including substance abuse and poverty, Clark said.
She said the county needs to work to fight the opioid crisis while still focusing on its strengths, such as easy river and rail access, in order to attract more business to grow the local economy.
Clark will face Perkins on the primary ballot on May 22. A Republican candidate for the 100th district job, Brian Clark, is running unopposed.
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