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Takeaways from Hopkinsville Mayoral Debate

Todd Hatton

The three candidates for Hopkinsville mayor agreed on some issues like supporting the Inner City Residential Enterprise Zone Program in today’s WKMS-sponsored debate. But, of course, they disagreed on several others.

Below you’ll find what each candidate said on a select number of topics including jobs and whether or not local elections should be partisan or non-partisan. The full debate is also available in the player above.

Chad Lampe
Joey Pendleton


Many of Pendleton’s answers went back to the theme of his campaign, putting young people in charge by having one on every board and commission. He said he wants to expand the inner city program so young people have hope and something to do.

On jobs the former state senator said he is running on his track record, specifically in his involvement in bringing Continental Mills and an ethanol plant to Hopkinsville.

“I’m working as we speak on an industry that wants to come to this area and we’re meeting next week with the EDC to make sure that we get them here in Hopkinsville,” he said. “So we’re going to continue to fight to bring industry into Hopkinsville as you have seen in my past. My record will speak for itself.”  

Pendleton supports keeping local elections partisan, saying historically non-partisan races in Hopkinsville led to corruption. He also said the bickering politicians many in Hopkinsville are tired of are in Washington, not Hopkinsville.

Pendleton wasn’t sure if he would support an expansion of the rail trail, saying he needed to know how much it would cost and if the community used the trail. He also said he would address poverty by recruiting industry with high paying jobs instead of minimum wage or temporary jobs.

Credit Chad Lampe / WKMS
Walter Shamble

  WALTER SHAMBLE, Independent

Like Pendleton, Shamble supports the inner city program but says he thinks some area are overlooked.

He also says there’s no need to “reinvent the wheel” when Hopkinsville already has a good place for jobs at the Industrial Park. He says the workers there just need to come from the community, not elsewhere.

“Only one in four people in Hopkinsville/Christian County work in Industrial Park so consequently the money is leaving Hopkinsville,” Shamble said. “So my goal would be to provide, say, incentives for the businesses in Industrial Park to hire locally.”

Shamble does support keeping local races partisan, saying non-partisan races eliminate lots of possibilities. He does support a Rail Trail expansion since it doesn’t cover the entire city. He wants the walking and biking trail to be accessible and beneficial for the whole community, not just part of it.

To lessen poverty in Hopkinsville, Shamble suggests businesses in places like the Industrial Park should eliminate complex tests that are required to pass before being hired. He also says it is a moral issue and that people should serve those in their community always, not just particular times of the year.

Credit Chad Lampe / WKMS


Hendricks supports the inner city initiative like the other two candidates, but he says the ways the money allocated for it is used should be reevaluated each year to determine if it is being used best.

He has a jobs plan that includes focusing city hall on creating non-tax revenue, stimulating housing and retail development and expanding small business.

Unlike the other candidates, Hendricks does support making local elections non-partisan.

“The issues that we face as local elected officials have nothing to do with the partisan platform and I think this community is tired of divisive, petty, partisan politics,” he said. “And that’s what I hear at the doorsteps as I’m knocking out on doors every single day talking to voters on their front porches and in their living rooms.”

Hendricks enthusiastically supported expanding the rail trail, saying he had personally raised $400,000 for the project. In dealing with poverty in Hopkinsville, he said good education and opportunity is what people need. Hendricks wants to build trust with people who are struggling so they see a way out of their situation.

Whitney grew up listening to Car Talk to and from her family’s beach vacation each year, but it wasn’t until a friend introduced her to This American Life that radio really grabbed her attention. She is a recent graduate from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where she studied journalism. When she’s not at WKMS, you can find her working on her backyard compost pile and garden, getting lost on her bicycle or crocheting one massive blanket.
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