Election Preview | State Representative 55th District

Published 4:44 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Below are questions The Jessamine Journal asked each candidate and these are their responses.

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Discuss your interest in serving as the 55th District Representative.

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Kim King: Families – yours and mine are my motivation to serve in public office. We have two married children, Tia (JD) and Clayton (Heather) and five precious granddaughters. I had no political aspirations, but was willing to sacrifice my personal training business to serve the 55th House District, full time in Frankfort. Our children are established in the 55th District and our granddaughters are thriving in the Mercer County public school system. I want families to stay in Kentucky because it is a safe, vibrant and growing place to live, work and play. Kentucky has many assets, I want to make sure we fully utilize those assets and transform our challenges into opportunities for everyone.

Tobie Brown: My interest lies in the people. I felt like politicians have become out of touch with their constituents and I felt like our voice wasn’t being heard or represented in this district. Our kids need a champion fighting for education and abuse prevention. We need to have some tough conversations in Frankfort and I knew I wanted to be part of that!

What is your perspective on the current gun control measures being discussed on the national level?

Kim King: I have a strong record of protecting the 2nd Amendment. Due to my strong record, I again earned the NRA’s endorsement. This national organization recognizes my pro-active work in the Kentucky General Assembly to ensure our right to bear arms is not infringed. President Obama and his federal bureaucrats are determined to restrict our constitutional rights via executive order if possible. I will continue to stand strong on this, and all conservative principles. The Democratic Presidential nominee speaks publicly about her commitment to restricting our 2nd Amendment Right. Make no mistake, there is only one Democratic platform, and candidates sign paperwork attesting their support and commitment to the official platform. There isn’t a state platform, and certainly not a platform for individual House Districts.

Tobie Brown: I am a guardian of the Second Amendment. I respect our rural culture and history and I know it’s important to sportsmen, hunters and those who wish to defend their homes and loved ones. I think we need common sense gun laws. I believe that we need better background checks, especially for individuals with mental issues or disabilities.

What do you perceive as the three largest economic concerns facing Jessamine County?

Kim King: Jessamine County, like all Kentucky counties, will benefit from comprehensive tax reform and streamlined reform of all regulatory mandates. As the sixth-fastest growing county in the Commonwealth, we need to make sure we are planning for the families and businesses choosing Jessamine County as their new home. Our local officials are doing a great job managing rapid growth. It’s an honor to work with the Chamber of Commerce, Jessamine County School system, local elected officials, our federal delegation and faith-based community as we navigate the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Tobie Brown: I feel like we need more outreach efforts for our budding entrepreneurs, there are a lot of people who have great ideas but no direction or support. I am also concerned about the expanding gap of the wealthy and those in poverty, we all do better when we have a healthy middle class, and yet we all can become more financially literate. Lastly, I am concerned about our moral infer structure regarding the lack of economic concern for those who are in need and overlooked.

What are some of your ideas to address the growing substance abuse issues in Kentucky?

Kim King: In my six-year tenure, we have discussed at least six different substance abuse reduction topics. The “substance of choice” is always changing. As soon as we make progress addressing one, another type emerges. Bottom line – we can’t legislate sobriety, morality or good decisions. We must work with the faith-based community to tackle these issues on every level…ministering to family members, counseling addicts and educating the general population about the dangers of drug use/abuse before an individual makes the decision to try a drug to escape reality.

Tobie Brown: It is an issue bigger than Jessamine County and Kentucky. I want to have a conversation in Frankfort regarding causes of addiction, especially poverty. In addition, we need to do a better job regarding rehabilitation and we need to look at criminal justice reform; long term incarnation doesn’t solve the issue, it simply just costs us more money and the problem is still remains an epidemic.

In your opinion, what qualities and experiences make you the strongest candidate for the seat?

Kim King: The 55th House District is a conservative area and I’m the only conservative candidate running for this seat. I have a proven record of being a conservative and casting good votes on the House Floor and in Committee. I have firsthand experience in running a small business. I have a strong working relationship with the Kentucky Cattlemen Association, local Chambers of Commerce, the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, our federal delegation (Senator McConnell, Senator Paul, Congressman Guthrie, Congressman Barr, Congressman Massie and Congressman Rogers), our state senators (including Senator Tom Buford and Senator Jimmy Higdon), Governor Bevin and all of our Constitutional officers (Auditor Mike Harmon, Attorney General Beshear, Commissioner Ryan Quarles, Secretary of State Grimes and Treasurer Allison Ball. In addition to the Kentucky Right to Life, NRA & National Federation of Independent Business, I am also endorsed by the Kentucky Professional Firefighters Association and the Commonwealth Policy Center.

Tobie Brown: I know this is my time to name drop and roll out my accolades, but I would rather be transparent. The days I have stood in the unemployment line and days when I didn’t have a car and had to walk everywhere, the days where I didn’t know how I was going to make my car payment, those are the real life moments of being humbled have qualified me. God knows that I can be more effective if I have walked in the People’s shoes! I am qualified by the Blood of Jesus!