Candidiates’ forum held in Tollesboro

By Jonathan Wright - [email protected]

TOLLESBORO — The Lions Club hosted a Meet the Candidates forum Monday at the Tollesboro Lions Club Fairgrounds.

Members of the Lewis County community were able to converse with candidates and discuss issues and platforms over a meal provided by the Lewis County Farm Bureau. All local candidates speaking were Republicans.

Candidates were then given the opportunity to speak more on their platform and issues they’d like to address when in office. The forum started with candidates whose offices were contested. For magistrate of District 1, incumbent Terry Thomas said her previous experience in working in the local government, including as magistrate, greatly qualifies her for re-election. Thomas also addressed the finances of the county and how, despite receiving less money, there are still ways to fund repairs for local roads and bridges.

“Even though our funding is less because gas prices were down, and we’ve lost about $250,000 over the last few years, we’ve still managed to resurface, and repair our roads and take care of our bridges,” Thomas said.

The issue of road and bridge maintenance was a common subject with Johnny Osbourne, running against incumbent Thomas. Osbourne mentioned the condition of local roads and his intent to solve this problem along with giving his extensive experiences and qualifications that would aid the effort.

Next, candidates for county clerk, incumbent Glenda Himes and her challenger, Leslie Collier stepped up to make their claim to the voters.

Himes said during her term in office, she’s made considerable updates to the clerk’s office, namely moving record and report keeping into digital platforms and upgrading the technology of the office as a whole. Himes went on to say how the county’s voting machines are in need of replacement due to age, and has planned to acquire “computerized equipment” to remedy the situation.

Challenger Collier’s main point to voters was to investigate the apparent variance in tax and vehicle registration fees between counties, a point which incumbent Himes said in her statement was either untrue or was purely the state decision.

“My main thing that I want to check into: I have heard from several people, all across the county, that sometimes those prices are varying from county to county, even though they shouldn’t,” Collier said. “Whenever you keep hearing something over and over, chances are there’s some truth to it.”

Up next to speak was Democrat Patti Piatt of Bellevue, who is running for state representative of the Fourth Congressional District, in opposition to incumbent Thomas Massie. Piatt addressed voters by promising to fix healthcare, saying she believes “everyone should see a doctor when they’re sick.” The Second Amendment was also mentioned by Piatt.

“I’m a gun owner, and I support the Second Amendment, but I think we can do common sense gun legislation.”

Piatt concluded by saying opioid is also a major problem that would be addressed once in office.

Running for county constable district 1, Jeremy Hampton spoke about the necessity of voting for the arguably archaic position, noting it would benefit local law enforcement. Steve Applegate, current magistrate of District 4, went second, and addressed the crowd about his involvement in the community and explained his position in the fiscal court.

The Kentucky primary election will be held on May 22.

By Jonathan Wright

[email protected]