Dr. Donald Douglas inaugurated as district senator

Published 4:02 pm Thursday, November 18, 2021

NICHOLASVILLE — Dr. Donald Douglas (R) was sworn in Thursday as the state senator for District 22, which includes Jessamine, Mercer, Garrard, Washington, and part of Fayette counties.

“I feel honored to have won the election,” Douglas said. “I feel the people in District 22 are some of the greatest people in the world. I think they are dedicated, I think they love this area, I think they’re wonderful Americans, and I think they were looking to pick someone who they thought could bring this all together.”

The district was last represented by the late Tom Buford. Dr. Douglas defeated Helen Bukulmez (D) and Sindicat “Sid” Dunn (independent) with more than 70% of the vote during the 2021 special election.

Douglas says his plans include enabling those who hold conservative values to express those values. He hopes to, as he puts it, ‘bring everyone together regardless of party.’

“This election was not about party,” Douglas said. “One of the things I want to bring to Frankfort is a feeling that we should all come together – that we are all Kentuckians. That we are all Americans. And what we need to be able to do is support each other always as a people first.”

Additionally, Douglas says he is looking into ways to improve the interactions between the healthcare system and the public.

“There are a lot of proposals out there,” he explained. “I’m one of the people who wants to sit back and listen to what you think. Let’s evaluate not only what I’m thinking, but what you’re bringing to the table. Sometimes when we offer opinions, we tend to intimidate others. I’d rather sit back and let others share their opinions, share their hopes and dreams, and then we can all talk about this together.”

Douglas also mentioned that he wants to see economic growth throughout the district.

“I want to see it expand, let businesses come in here,” he explained. “I want to be able to support our fire fighters, our employees, and our civil workers so this area can continue to grow and continue to be a great place to raise our families. To be a great place for safety for our families.”

Lastly, Douglas mentioned that he wants parents to have input on what is taught in education.

“I want to make sure our parents have a say in our schools, what’s taught in our schools, what our children are taught, and how our schools are run. That’s what I want to bring to Frankfort.”

After Douglas was inaugurated by Jessamine Judge-Executive David West, he gave the following speech:

“I had the honor on Tuesday night to go to the Jessamine women’s Republican party group. There I talked about opening up a whole new avenue or so for people who think like we do. For people who have always been told they have to be democrats, and that they had to vote in that way whether they believe that or not. I leave that as an example, my sister Pauline. Those of you that were there that night saw the emotion she showed. I want us as a party to invite everybody in. We want to bring everybody in.

We are – and I will say this over and over – we are the people of District 22. We are Kentuckians. We are family whether we like it or not. And we are Americans. There are a lot of things that we agree on, there are a lot of things that we don’t agree on. We will have a lot of differing opinions, but that doesn’t make any of us wrong. It means that we have the freedom in this country, in this state and in this district to disagree, and that’s okay.

One of my goals is to make sure that those people who believe as we do are free to express those values and not have to be held down for fear of people in their community, of people in their families. You all gave my sister an awakening when she was there that Tuesday night, and she and I talked about it.

I talked to a gentlemen about two days ago who was 87 years old, who was a life-long Democrat. He said ‘Dr. Douglas, I couldn’t vote for you, but I would have voted for you.’ And he said ‘I want you to know, I actually looked at your website and I’ve seen your commercials.’ He said ‘I want you to know I am no longer a Democrat. I have changed my voter registration.’

I want you to know that occurred partially because of me, but greatly because of you all. Because of how we ran the campaign, because of how we approached people, because of how we answered their questions, and because how we forced them to change their minds.

People are switching every day. My goal is for us to take back our district, and to take back our state, and to take back our country so that our kids can be safe, our families can feel loved and can feel supported. And our government, including me, will work for you all again. That’s why I’m here. Make no mistake.”

Brian O’Leary, Douglas’ campaign manager and the chairman of the county’s Republican group had the following to say:

“We all feel very strongly that we have elected a candidate whose beliefs are basically the same as our own: Christian, conservative, Republican beliefs.”