Tackling the issues

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Candidates square off at Sunday debate

By Ben Hyatt

A candidate debate was hosted by the Harrison county TEA Party at the Extension office Sunday, Sept. 30.
As the election draws near, candidates kick into overdrive in an effort to leave a positive impression on all voters that will hopefully follow them into the voting booths on Nov. 6.
Last Sunday was no exception as many citizens piled into the Harrison County Extension office to catch a glimpse and hear from a variety of candidates whose names will help fill this year’s ballot.
Guest moderator, WKYT anchor and hometown star Amber Philpott, was present to read a variety of questions to candidates.
The first speakers of the afternoon were local 78th District House of Representative candidates Tom McKee, Democrat, and Bryan Lutz, Republican.
Issues discussed between the two candidates were the current state issues of budgeting, state pension plan, education funding and various other job related topics.
Incumbent State Rep. McKee gave examples of past bills that he has been involved with  over his tenure as a representative.
“I have proudly played a part in passing many bills that I feel have gone on to help better our community,” said McKee. “One that I am particularly proud of is House Bill 611 where we were able to send millions of dollars to help diversify agriculture in an effort to provide more income to our farmers.”
McKee also expressed great pride in a 2012 bill which will establish a permanent monument to soldiers involved in the Iraq, Afghanistan and First Gulf War.
“Anytime we have the chance to do something for our veterans we should strive to see it through,” said McKee. “They have earned it.”
During much of the debate, Republican candidate Lutz gave reasoning why a change in the state is needed.
“The time for change is now,” expressed Lutz. “From taxes to education, our state continues to head in the wrong direction.”
Some of the main points Lutz was most interested in changing were the issues in education, the state’s $33 billion debt and  making Kentucky more appealing to new industries.
“It is time to make manufacturing the powerhouse in Kentucky again,” said Lutz. “Just now we are seeing two factories shut their doors right here in Harrison County and it continues to happen across Kentucky.”
Both candidates were also able to give a rebuttal after initial remarks were made by their opponent.
During the second portion of the afternoon debate, the audience was able to hear from congressional candidates Andy Barr and Bill Adkins.
Due to redistricting, potions of Harrison county now fall into both the 4th and 6th congressional districts.
Barr, incumbent Republican candidate, is currently running for the 6th Congressional District against incumbent Ben Chandler and Randolph Vance. Chandler and Vance did not respond to the invitation.
Adkins, Democratic candidate, who is running for the 4th Congressional District was not met by challengers Thomas Massie or David Lewis.
The 4th District incumbent, Geoff Davis, announced his plans to retire earlier this year.
Since both candidates are running for a congressional seat a debate was conducted between the two. However, they will not run against each other in the race.