Bowling Green City Commissioner Melinda Hill will challenge Rep. Jody Richards in 20th House District race

10/21/2015 03:07 PM

House Speaker Pro Tem Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, will face a high-profile challenger for the House seat he has held since 1976 during the next election cycle in 2016.

On Wednesday, Bowling Green City Commissioner Melinda Hill filed her letter of intent to seek election to the 20th House District seat in 2016. The district includes the city of Bowling Green and several precincts in Warren County.

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“Over the past four years I have had the honor of representing the people of Bowling Green and helping to bring opportunities for prosperity to the region. Our city is healthy and growing,” Hill said in a press release sent to Pure Politics. “We succeeded despite the unnecessary regulations that prevent much of the rest of the commonwealth from doing the same. Kentucky is falling behind.

“I want to take my experience in Bowling Green to Frankfort and address the obstacles that are preventing Kentucky from being the great state we all know it can be.”

In a phone interview with Pure Politics, Hill said that she thinks the Bowling Green-centric district is ready for a change after nearly 40 years of representation by Richards. Hill said she would be in favor of term limits when asked by Pure Politics, but said the rest of her platform would be announced in the coming months.

Hill was first elected in 2011 to the Bowling Green City Commission and is in her second term serving as mayor pro tem. According to the press release, Hill is currently the chairperson for the Sloan Convention Center Board, a member of the Inter-Modal Transportation Authority Board of Directors, the chairperson for the Job Development Incentive Program and a member of the Life’s Better Together Board.

After serving at the county level, Hill told Pure Politics she wanted to work at the state level to ensure the “state does not do things that hurt our communities.”

A prime example of legislation she says is needed is right-to-work, which would allow individuals to choose not to join a union without being penalized or losing their jobs. The measure has been blocked in the Democrat-controlled House.

Hill is running as a Republican but said that she would “do what’s in the best interest of our citizens” if elected.

Richards did not immediately return a request for comment when contacted by Pure Politics.


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