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Long-time GOP Rep. facing a challenger in Ky. House District 1 primary

Derek Operle
LRC, Facebook Page - Tucker for KY State Representative

A Hickman County farmer is challenging a long-time state representative for his seat in the Republican primary election this month.

The Republican primary election for House District 1 features two candidates: Rep. Steven Rudy of McCracken County, who is seeking reelection for a tenth term in the House of Representatives and serves in GOP leadership as Majority Floor Leader; and Chris Tucker, a cattle and row crop farmer who’s running for a position in the state legislature for the first time.

The winner of the primary election on May 17 will be unopposed in the November general election, with no Democrat running for the seat. The House District 1 seat represents residents in part of McCracken County and Fulton, Carlisle, Hickman, and Ballard counties.

In an interview, Chris Tucker said besides Rudy’s experience in the state legislature, his background and experience is comparable to Rudy. Tucker and Rudy both have agriculture degrees from Murray State University and both work in agriculture. But he believes Rudy hasn’t been responsive to constituent concerns in the district, one of the main reasons he’s challenging Rudy for the seat.

He said he had a bad experience filing for unemployment benefits during the pandemic and claims that other people he knows who had unemployment benefits issues contacted Rudy for help and didn’t get responses from him.

“The legislators need to be looking out for the people and serving the people's agenda, not somebody else's,” Tucker said. “The people need somebody that's actually looking out for them.”

Tucker said he would want to secure more state funding for economic development in the “river counties” of far western Kentucky along with better funding pensions for teachers and state employees. He said it “infuriates” him that state lawmakers get their own pension for what he sees as only a part-time job. Tucker also said he would want to hold town halls to hear directly from constituents if elected.

In an interview, Rudy said he has been accessible to constituents and has an open-door policy at his family agriculture supply business in Ballard County. He also said he hasn’t held town halls in the district recently due to the pandemic.

“There’s plenty of reasons to criticize, and I think a lot of it is just not knowing the fact that we are a citizen legislature. We're all in Frankfort three months a year and then home for the rest of the time doing real jobs,” Rudy said. “I take that citizen legislature portion very seriously that we should be in touch with the people and have jobs outside of Frankfort.”

Rudy said he has a proven, conservative track record of protecting Second Amendment rights, cutting taxes and ending government mandates related to the pandemic. He also said he wants to ensure communities and residents impacted by the December tornado outbreak continue to have support during the ongoing recovery.

The 2022 primary elections will take place on May 17. Learn more about races in the region in our Primary Election Voter Guide.

"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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