ASHLAND Interim city commissioner Bernice Henry has started her campaign as a write-in candidate for the Ashland Board of City Commissioners.

Henry announced her intent to run for the commission seat on Tuesday. She was appointed to the commission on June 13 after former city commissioner Pat Steen resigned from her position. Henry said after spending the last two-plus weeks learning and understanding the commission, she feels like she can work with the people in the city and make a positive change moving forward.

“I’ve been on the commission for about two weeks and it gave me time to look into things,” said Henry. “I just feel like this is the time.”

Henry is a lifelong resident of Boyd County and the first African American woman to hold a commission seat. She is the second Black person to sit on the Ashland Board of City Commissioners. The first was Wendell Banks.

Henry was asked by the commission to take the seat after Steen resigned from her position in early June. Steen took a spot in 2018, when she replaced her late husband, Marshall, who was ill at the time.

Henry attended Ashland schools her entire life. She went to a segregated school in Ashland until the ninth grade. When the schools integrated, she and her mother moved to Ashland. She was part of Paul G. Blazer’s second graduating class.

“I’ll do the best I can for them,” said Henry. “I think after having met a few people who have met in the city of Ashland and understanding the work they do and listening to the calls from people with issues they are having, I can help them.”

Voters must write in Henry’s name at the polls if they want to vote for her in the November general election.

Henry has been active within the community through her roles in different organizations, including the Ashland school system with the Early Childhood Education program. Henry serves on the Board of Scope Towers, chairs the Ashland Human Rights Commission, is the vice president of the Boyd-Greenup NAACP, serves on the Interagency Council and is involved in New Hope Baptist.

Henry had a lot of support from her family and friends who encouraged her to run for a full term.

Henry has had a lot of response from people who are happy she was appointed to the commission seat.

“I can help and that’s something I want to do. I want to make a difference and I want to make it better for everyone,” said Henry.

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