Meet the Candidates: United States Senate, 39th and 56th House District, and 22nd Senate District

Published 2:08 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2022

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The General Election is scheduled for Nov. 8, and in an effort to help inform the public, the Sun sent out a questionnaire designed to help the public know more about each candidate. Every reasonable attempt was made to reach all candidates. Every candidate who responded will be included online and in print. The answers have been edited for spelling and punctuation only.

Each candidate was sent the following questions in the same order:

1. Would you tell us about your background, please?

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2. Why are you the best candidate for this office?

3. What do you think is the most pressing issue affecting us in this election cycle?

4. How would you address this issue in your elected office?

United States Senate

Charles Booker (D)

1. I’m a proud native of Louisville’s West End and a proud husband and father. I grew up in poverty and understand what it means to live with this insecurity. I have had to ration my insulin in order to provide food for my family, and I am a former State Rep. for District 43 in Louisville.

2. I’m the best candidate for this office because I want to bring real change to the lives of Kentuckians. While my opponent is focused on keeping things the same or making us even more hyper-individualized, I understand that we are a community that depends on each other for our livelihoods and that our policies should reflect that. From healthcare to social security to poverty reduction, these are all issues of justice that could be better. It will be my focus to address the immediate needs of the people of Kentucky, not just to sit back and let things play out as they always have.

3. The right to privacy. Rand Paul believes the government should force a pregnant person’s body to become state property. He believes even if a child is raped, they must give birth. He claims this topic should be left up to the states to decide, yet he introduced The Life at Conception Act.

4. I support codifying Roe v Wade in Congress. The right to privacy that the case for Roe v Wade was built upon is essential to many other rights and freedoms we enjoy in the United States today. With the codification of Roe, Kentuckians and women across the country will be ensured equitable access to necessary reproductive healthcare. I will not support legislation that makes women and those who can become pregnant state property.

Rand Paul (R)

1. My family and I live in Bowling Green, where I owned my ophthalmology practice and performed eye surgery for 18 years before being elected to the Senate in 2010. As a dedicated physician–not a career politician– I was sent to Washington to shake things up and make a difference for all Kentuckians.

2. Since being elected to the U.S. Senate, I’ve been a consistent advocate for Kentuckians by standing for fiscal responsibility and supporting local law enforcement. I will continue to fight back against reckless spending, the Defund the Police movement, and any radical liberal attempt to tear down our country and your way of life. I will always advocate for your constitutional liberties, protect your tax dollars, and fight against Big Government. I would be honored to have your support this November.

3. Reckless spending by the Biden Administration and both parties in Congress has caused record-high inflation and price increases for all Kentuckians. Everything costs more, and I fear it will only get worse with continued out-of-control spending.

4. I’ve never voted for an unbalanced budget and have always fought to protect your tax dollars from going towards wasteful spending that has caused record-high inflation and price increases. As your Senator, I’ve returned over $5.7 million to the Treasury Department from my office budget. I’ve kept my promise to Kentuckians that I would stand for smaller, more efficient government, balanced budgets, and spending restraint. We can’t continue down the path of reckless spending that aims to destroy our dollar, takes more money from you, the taxpayers, and risks ruining our country.

Kentucky House of Representatives, District 39

Matt Lockett (R)

1.  I have served the 39th District in the legislature for the past two years. I am also a financial advisor with Family Wealth Group. I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Murray State University and my Master’s Degree from Southern Seminary in Louisville. I reside in Nicholasville with my children.

2. I am the best candidate for this office because I have proven over my last term that I can serve the people of the 39th District and represent the views of the people in Frankfort. In just my short time, I have influenced legislation, passed bills, and let our voice be heard. This takes strength, courage, and a seat at the table. I have worked tirelessly to reduce taxes, cut spending, support our police and stop the liberal nonsense coming from the federal government. With my background, my experience, and my voice, I am the best candidate in this race for the office of State Representative.

3. I believe there are several pressing issues in this election cycle, not just one. Our economy, high inflation, workforce issues, taxes, and education would round out the top. Everyone is suffering under this administration, and we must do all we can to put and keep Kentucky on the right track.

4. We started this work over the last couple of sessions by reducing taxes, working to eliminating the income tax so you can keep more of your hard-earned money. We will continue to modernize our tax code to make us competitive for jobs and manufacturing growth in KY. I also put a strong emphasis on education and believe that we should empower parents to provide the best education for their children as possible. We need to teach children how to think, not what to think. I’ve just begun my work in Frankfort, and I’m excited to continue my work to represent the values of District 39.

Kentucky House of Representatives, District 56

Daniel A. Fister (R)

1. My wife and I have been married 44 years. We have two grown sons, and two grandchildren. I’m a farmer, retired general contractor, a community volunteer, and I’m active in my church. I’m not a politician, my only goal is to bring common sense to the government and build a better world for our children.

2. As your current State Representative, I’m committed to continuing to pass laws that make us more competitive and improve our quality of life. This year we passed a budget that meets our state’s needs and includes record funding for education, pay increases for the Kentucky State Police, state employees, and social workers, funding to help local school districts increase employee pay, and $250 million for the budget reserve. We also passed a bill that gradually eliminates the personal income tax. The first decrease is with 2022 taxes and will leave more than $600 million in the pockets of those who worked for it.

3. It’s our economy. Failed Federal policy has left us with unaffordable food and energy costs. We are experiencing artificially high demand for products due to the money infused into the economy and low supply of products that is causing runaway inflation and rising interest rates.

4. We need to start by lowering taxes and controlling our spending. With Kentucky ranked 48th in the nation for workforce participation, we need to get our people back to work. We need to grow our economy by making Kentucky competitive with our neighbors and increase the supply of products in the market. While we can’t do much about misguided policy at the Federal level, we can make common sense adjustments at home to help reduce the impact.

Grayson Vandegrift (D)

1. I’ve been a small business owner and a two-term mayor. I also work at the Mary Todd Lincoln House in Lexington.

2. I’ve served as a council member and a mayor in Midway, a small city with many of the same issues that Wilmore and the other communities within Jessamine county face. As a state representative, understanding the details of what small cities face is vital to securing projects, grants, and other funding that can help our communities solve their problems and thrive. I’ve had a policy for the last ten years of making my cell phone number available to all my constituents, and that policy will be in place if I’m elected state representative too.

3. We are in danger of wasting our historic surplus on hand-outs to the ultra-rich. We should be making investments in public education and other vital services, and we should at least temporarily cut the regressive sales tax as a way to help our constituents out during inflation.

4. I would propose a bill that reverses HB9, which took $25 million away from public schools, and I would also file a bill to lower sales tax, at least as a tax holiday, to help us, folks, out who struggle with inflation.

Kentucky Senate, District 22

Donald Douglas (R)

1. Born in a log cabin in rural western Kentucky, I am the 14th of 16 children. We farmed, and I have served as Sunday School president, teacher, class president, team captain, and I was an Olympic trials qualifier. My career was in Anesthesiology. I have been married for 41 years with three children. Hard work and respect. Loving to serve others is God’s will.

2. My history as a Body of Work is vast. A young Black American born in a log cabin, now a State Senator. Working with young and old, poor and wealthy, educated and not. An Anesthesiologist, listening to their wants, needs, dealing with family losses and disappointments and their failures and successes. I have developed empathy from a personal level at their greatest time of need. Emergency decision making and critical thinking is my profession. Everyone has a voice, consensus is vital, with no need to compromise just to get along. Be a role model, minimize confrontation and get it done, not just talk.

3. Inflation causing increased cost of living; food, gas, housing is killing Kentucky families and businesses. Crime, fentanyl crisis, illegal immigration, faltering school test scores are stressing our society. Improve the economy, enforce existing laws, parent/school transparency, and energy independence.

4. Work with federally elected officials to cut spending, balance the budget, become energy independent again, and follow existing immigration laws while considering changes. In the State government, we have begun to address a balance in the budget, lowering taxes while cutting spending and the size of government. Encourage parents to participate in schools, being transparent.  Improve workforce participation with technical training, criminal justice reform, and other offerings. Continue to listen to the constituents regarding their concerns to make Kentucky more competitive with surrounding states.

Chuck Eddy (D)

1. I am a happily married man, father, grandfather, and Christ follower. I am retired. As Senator, I will be the adult in the room and work across the aisle to promote common sense. From an early age, my mom taught me the importance of using my voice to promote the rights and liberties of others.

2. Unlike my opponent, I wasn’t hand-picked for this position. I don’t have big money with special interests paying for everything. In Frankfort, my only loyalty will be to the people of the 22nd District who elect me. Constituent services will be a top priority. On the pertinent issues, I am the only candidate in this race that supports medical marijuana, public education, and helping the working poor. I am the only candidate in this race opposed to giving tax money to for-profit charter schools, cutting unemployment benefits, and reducing local control of education. I look forward to serving you as Senator.

3. The hyper-political nature of the legislature has been caused by all the big money pouring into Frankfort. I will work to restore common sense and decency to Frankfort. A good idea is a good idea, whether it comes from a Republican or Democrat. I’ll proudly support good ideas!

4. On a personal level, I will treat my colleagues, regardless of party, with respect and operate in good faith. I think it’s essential that we start talking to one another and stop talking at one another. Legislatively, we need better disclosure laws and ethics laws, as well as legislation, to restrict corporations and dark money groups from hand-picking candidates who are only loyal to them. I will also actively work to elect other candidates who want to restore common sense and decency to Frankfort and who will put the people first. Thank you for the opportunity to serve.