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Former Congressman Carroll Hubbard To Run For State 1st District House Seat

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 This story has been updated.

Former congressman, attorney, and convicted felon Carroll Hubbard announced Monday he’s running for the 1st District state representative seat in far west Kentucky.

Hubbard served as Kentucky’s 1st District Congressman for 18 years until 1993. Hepleaded guilty the next year to felony campaign finance charges that he obstructed federal investigators by ordering an aide to destroy campaign records, and that he illegally moved thousands of dollars to a political fund benefiting his wife's congressional campaign. Hubbard spent two years in prison.

The Courier Journalreports he also had his law license suspended for 60 days in April for lying under oath in denying that he called an opposing lawyer and her wife "fat, ugly lesbians." The Paducah-based attorney said he believes voters will look beyond his past record.

“A lot of people make mistakes, mine bigger than some others maybe, but there are many people who make mistakes," he said. "I find western Kentuckians to be very warm to somebody who’s trying to make a comeback.”

Hubbard said he doesn’t have specific policies he’s campaigning on, but he wants to hold more town halls in Fulton, Carlisle and Ballard counties. The state 1st District House seat represents those counties and a portion of McCracken County.

He said he wants to run a "positive campaign" about what he stands for. He also said he believes incumbent Republican State Representative Steven Rudy hasn't been accessible to constituents in river-adjacent counties.

"I will do something different. I will hold town meetings, some during the legislature and some when the legislature is not in session," Hubbard said. "It's been a long time since the incumbent state representative has been to those counties."

Hubbard said if elected, he would quit his job as an attorney to spend more time working as a state representative. He said this is in contrast to his opponent, who is part-owner of Rudy's Farm Center in Ballard County.

Rudy said he'll let Hubbard's record "speak for itself".

"I don't know what he's talking about. I've been accessible, I've been open. We are a citizen legislature in Kentucky. I do take pride in the fact that I do work a job outside of Frankfort. And I think it's important to stay in touch with the voters," Rudy said. "For someone who says he's not going to do 'negative' and does backhanded comments like that, that just shows you his type of character and who he is." 

Hubbard announced earlier this year he was switching political parties to be a Republican because he believed the Democratic party had gone "so far to the left" with its policies. 

"So soon after changing [parties], I can't be at this point a dedicated Republican, but I do believe the Republican party at this point in my life thinks more like I do than the Democrats," Hubbard said. "The Democrats of my grandparents and my parents, they're not the same today."

Hubbard also served in the state senate from 1968 to 1975. Running as a Democrat, he lost a campaign for the 1st District State Senate seat to Republican Stan Humphries in 2012.

Kentucky's primary elections are May 19.

This story has been updated for clarity.  A previous version referenced Hubbard as an "ex-felon," Hubbard is a convicted felon. He has not has his record expunged. Also, the article stated Hubbard served in the State Senate in 1986 in fact it was 1968. We regret the error.

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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