PRESTONSBURG – Candidates for 95th District State Representative, Greg Stumbo and Larry Brown took the stage at Big Sandy Community and Technical College in an open forum to discuss issues facing Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday.
The candidates discussed such topics as the increase in minimum wage, healthcare reform, a new veterans facility and the treatment of transgender individuals.
A Democrat, Stumbo began his political career in 1980 when he was first elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives. He served for 12 terms before being elected Attorney General in 2003. During his tenure in state government, Stumbo has enacted several polices that have positively impacted the citizens of Eastern Kentucky. His top focus continues to be education, protecting the coal industry, economy and jobs, fighting illegal drugs, health care, protecting seniors and roads. Stumbo, along with Floyd County Judge-Executive Ben Hale, traveled to Frankfort on February 24 to speak to the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee. With the support of several judge-executives from coal producing counties, Stumbo fought for more coal severance tax money.
“The way we bring the coal business back is we ask the government to come in here and build two or three coal fired generating facilities in Eastern Kentucky and Floyd County where we can burn the coal we mine here in the mountains,” said Stumbo.
Stumbo also advocates creating new usable land for recreational opportunities from post mining reclamation.
Aware of the growing drug abuse in Eastern Kentucky, Stumbo set out to stop big pharmaceutical companies. A bill he sponsored included multiple elements to prevent the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs and to enhance law enforcement’s tools to investigate illegal prescribing practices.
When asked about his stance on the treatment of transgender individuals, Stumbo responded by saying he did not support the idea of a natural born male using a female’s restroom.
“If an individual is uncomfortable using the appropriate bathroom because they are transgender, why can’t they talk to the principal and use an alternate bathroom used by the staff,” said Stumbo. “This does not have to be a big issue if everyone works together on a solution.”
Brown is the Republican candidate for State Representative in the 95th District and says he has a plan to revive the coal industry. He did not state how he plans to revive the coal industry during the forum. Brown, however, addressed the issue of the treatment of transgender individuals by saying he believes individuals should use the bathroom of whichever sex they were born. When asked who he plans to vote for in the Presidential election, Brown declared he supports Donald Trump for President.
Both candidates greeted the crowd after the forum.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.