By: Lisa Bicknell
Margaret Wood, president of the Estill County Democratic Women’s Club, introduced Amy McGrath and Paula Clemons-Combs at a rally at the Veterans Memorial Park in Ravenna on Friday night. Candidate Josh Hicks, opposing Congressman Andy Barr, was unable to attend the event because of an unexpected emergency.
“Amy continues to show up, every time we ask her,” said Wood, as she introduced McGrath, who is seeking to upset Senator Mitch McConnell.
McGrath began her speech by pledging to say what she would do for the area instead of saying how bad a job she perceives Senator McConnell is doing.
She promised immediate aid for those suffering from the effects of COVID-19 and said that she would demand a national plan for testing and contact tracing.
McGrath also promised to fix health care, saying that the Affordable Care Act should be tweaked, not discarded.
She spoke of the need to rebuild infrastructure in rural Kentucky, including aging water and sewer systems. She also said broadband is vital to rural Kentucky, just as installing electricity in rural areas was 100 years ago.
McGrath said that injustice and inequality must be tackled, instead of giving more power to the wealthiest one percent of Americans.
The last of her five main points was that corruption in Washington must be addressed. “Nobody should be in the same office for 42 years,” she said.
“We can change the trajectory of our country,” said McGrath, by “ousting McConnell.”
Paula Clemons-Combs also spoke to those gathered at the park. Wood introduced her as a native of Breathitt County, a teacher and a “120 Zone Leader.” Clemons-Combs is seeking to fill Cluster Howard’s position as State Representative for the 91st district. Her opponent is Estill Countian Bill Wesley.
Clemons-Combs pledged to represent the 91st district to obtain “the resources we need.”
She spoke of coming from a humble background, adding that her parents and granny were always advocates for education. Her father died of black-lung, and she recalls seeing her granny split her blood pressure medicine with her aunt, because her aunt couldn’t afford her own.
Clemons-Combs pointed out that most Estill Countians head up Richmond Rd. or I-64 to work, and that schools have become hubs for social services.
“I will focus on our needs and getting us what we need,” she said.