TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

State News

February 26, 2014

Clinton visits fuel Dems in CNHI communities

CORBIN — By Ronnie Ellis / CNHI News Service

It’s tough being a Democrat in heavily Republican Laurel County. Just ask 81-year-old Bernice Chesnut of London.

“Yes, but I’ve never been ashamed to tell people I’m a Baptist and I’m a Democrat,” Chesnut said while waiting excitedly to hear her candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and former President Bill Clinton here Tuesday.

Chesnut and Laurel County Democratic Party Chairman Roy Sizemore were among eight or so Democrats from Laurel and Knox counties at a table in a Galt House ballroom waiting for Democrats’ “Big Dog” to speak.

Chesnut is a Democratic election commissioner in Laurel County. She voted twice for Clinton and twice for Barack Obama and she is eager to vote for Grimes in her bid to unseat five-time incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

“I think Alison will be good for the state and good for the country,” Chesnut said. “She’s young and energetic.”

Sizemore is like a lot of Democrats who in past federal elections might not have been too optimistic about electing someone from his party to go to Washington. This time, he thinks, is different — Democrats are excited, he said.

“I haven’t found one Democrat down our way who’s against her,” Sizemore said. “And a lot of Republicans tell me McConnell’s been there too long. Some of them won’t vote for her but they may stay home.”

Herman Moore, of Corbin in Whitley County, which is also heavily Republican in registration, sat several tables away in the large ballroom which held more than 1,200. He thinks Grimes appeals to women of both parties.

“The women I talk to are really behind her, including some Republican women,” Moore said. “They just indicate to me they can’t vote (for McConnell). They say he’s been there too long.”

Of course that’s one of the themes of Grimes’ campaign: that after 29 years in office, McConnell is more concerned with his own power and job than with the issues confronting Kentucky families. She’s also apt to remind audiences that if elected she will be Kentucky’s first female U.S. senator.

That’s part of Grimes’ appeal to Faith Erdmann, 31, of Richmond. She’s a Democrat but is pleased to be able to vote for a woman Democrat, too.

But she conceded her excitement Tuesday was due to more than Grimes. She eagerly looked forward to Clinton’s appearance on the stage.

“I’m really more excited to see Bill Clinton today,” she said. “And from the chatter I heard coming in, that may be what drew a lot of people here today.”

They weren’t disappointed. Clinton talked for 25 minutes. He had a folder but didn’t seem to use any notes. He talked about knowing Grimes since she was 14; told the crowd he’d read her jobs plan “and there’s a lot of good ideas in here;” and said he roots for both the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville basketball teams.

He seemed to talk the language of Kentucky as well as of national politics and that was what Chesnut expected and wanted.

“We’re not too liberal,” she said, nodding at the people at her table. “We’ve all had to work.”

Now, she said, she plans to work to get votes for Grimes — even in heavily Republican Laurel County.

1
Text Only
State News
  • Grimes comes out firing on McConnell

    Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State who is challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in this fall’s elections, went after the five-term incumbent in a speech here to a convention of local county officials.

    July 11, 2014

  • Conway, Comer address judge-execs

    It might have been a preview of next year’s Kentucky governor’s election — but county officials here for a convention probably didn’t expect one likely candidate to endorse a potential opponent.

    July 11, 2014

  • McConnell, Grimes parade cases

    Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes know a good place to look for votes when they see it.

    July 7, 2014

  • McConnell, Grimes disagree on contraception case

    Kentucky’s Republican congressman praised Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that corporations may opt out of a requirement to provide employees contraceptive coverage through insurance plans.

    July 1, 2014

  • Beshear sings praises of Affordable Care Act

    Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear told a Washington conference Tuesday that Kentucky’s embrace of the Affordable Care Act has been “life-changing” for thousands of Kentucky enrollees and “transformative” for Kentucky.

    June 18, 2014

  • Kentucky actually fares well under new EPA regs

    Kentucky politicians and the coal industry howled about the latest installment of greenhouse gas emission regulations issued last week by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

    June 16, 2014

  • New EPA C02 regs examined

    Given their complexity and potential impact in coal-dependent states like Kentucky, there’s considerable confusion about new carbon emission regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    June 16, 2014

  • State budget officials predict ‘significant shortfall’

    With only 20 days left in the 2014 fiscal year, state budget officials announced Tuesday Kentucky faces an “inevitable” and “significant” revenue shortfall in both the General and Road Funds.

    June 11, 2014

  • Grimes ad blasts Obama for coal policies

    Mitch McConnell is no longer the only U.S. Senate candidate running against Democratic President Barack Obama.

    June 5, 2014

  • Legislative leaders blast carbon regs

    President Barack Obama’s efforts to rein in carbon emissions, blamed by science for changes in the climate, continues to draw harsh criticism from both political parties in Kentucky.

    June 5, 2014