PRESTONSBURG — During an election year, it is not odd to see candidates visiting workplaces to court votes.
It is a little more unusual, however, to see them venturing deep beneath a mountain to talk to coal miners.
But that is exactly what Secretary of State and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes did Friday, touring a Floyd County mining operation and speaking with on-the-job miners. She called the visit an opportunity to see and hear directly from those who work in the industry.
Afterwards, Grimes participated in a discussion at the Mountain Arts Center, in Prestonsburg, with local community members and elected officials about jobs and the coal industry. She listened to participants share their experiences, challenges and hopes for the future.
Grimes also offered her thoughts on the need for legislation that helps to prepare Kentucky for the future, rather than just respond to crises after the fact. She touted her jobs plan, released in January at the MAC, which outlines her priorities for helping coal communities diversify their economies and save jobs.
She also took the opportunity to attack her opponent on the issue, following several weeks of television ads and campaign mailings challenging her on the coal issue.
“Mitch McConnell has had three decades to address the issues facing Kentucky, and he has not saved one coal job,” Grimes said. “He has not helped to make this state stronger in terms of how we’re going to move Kentucky — especially Eastern Kentucky — forward.”