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Kentucky Democratic Candidates for U.S. Senate Debate on KET's Kentucky Tonight

KET, via

Six Democrats vying for a seat in the U.S. Senate from Kentucky fielded questions last night as part of a KET primary election forum. Bill Goodman, host of Kentucky Tonight, began the show by asking each of the candidates about their political leanings.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray believes many Democrats are okay with taking a middle ground approach. “Sometimes we’ll go to the left and then sometimes we’ll go to the right, but through the center through time, the center is where most people land.”

Winchester’s Rory Houlihan says there is an answer to our nation’s current political division. “The conservative overreaches, the liberal overreaches. What we need in order to have a functional government is more moderates.”

Phelps’ Jeff Kender believes U.S. tax dollars going to foreign countries leaves less for needy Americans. “We’re sending our fortunes overseas and we’re letting our home country people starve. What is wrong with this government? That is why everyone is so fed up.”

An emailer to the program asked about getting “big money” out of federal politics. Ron Leach, a former Green Beret from Brandenburg, cites money in politics as a primary issue. “It is a corrosive, cancerous, problem in our system and problem the most important issue facing our democracy.”

Tom Recktenwald of Louisville presented an oversized piece of play money and tore it in two. “And until we stop the power of ‘big money’, we’re gonna stay stuck in the same boat we’re in. Again, I’m the only candidate who won’t accept money.”

Former Frankfort Commissioner Sellus Wilder said he believes there are some issues on which candidates of opposing parties can agree. “I think that civil constructive discourse, win or lose, is much better for the electorate, for the Commonwealth, and for the nation than the kind of insult contests that we tend to get into in some of these campaigns.”

Grant T. Short, of Owensboro, did not participate last night and announced on his campaign Facebook page that he has dropped out of the race.

Watch the discussion

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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