Democrat and Retired Army Major Ron Leach to run for Congress to take on Guthrie

07/08/2013 09:21 AM

UPDATED: A Bradenburg Democrat and recently retired U.S. Army Major has been gearing up to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie for the 2nd District Congressional seat in 2014.

Ron Leach filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission in April to run. He also has set up a campaign donation website . And he’s hired a campaign manager. Lacey Connelly, who has worked for a Democratic group in North Dakota and was a field organizer for John Edwards’ 2008 presidential campaign in Iowa, listed herself as his campaign manager on her LinkedIn account.

“I’ve been a farmer, teacher, medical professional and a Soldier, but never a politician,” said Leach in a press release. “The politicians in Washington DC have failed us. I can’t sit by when Congress cares more about satisfying lobbyists and special interests than helping working families. That has to change, and I am running to change it.”

Leach most recently has been focusing on the effects of cuts to Fort Knox, in which the Department of Defense has slated the combat brigade based there to be inactive. It’s one of 12 of the 45 current brigades scheduled to be cut nationally.

Leach, according to a letter to the editor he penned, served his final combat tour in Afghanistan alongside the 3rd Brigade Combat team out of Fort Knox as a physician’s assistant. And Leach plays up that role in an early July release to newspapers surrounding the base — and the second congressional district.

In the op-ed, he criticized members of Congress — but not Guthrie by name — for being “caught off guard” by the announcement that Fort Knox would be losing 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, and with it he said 10,000 jobs.

The warning signs have been present for anyone to see. The Army Office of the Surgeon General has been engaged with Ireland Hospital leaders regarding a downgrade of the hospital for over a year. The 233rd Transportation Company recently disbanded; the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command will be moving to Fort Bragg in 2015. Rumors about the 3rd BCT have been circulating since 2011. Why have our leaders been disengaged? Why have they not come forward with a plan for the future!

In a June 25 statement after the announcement, Guthrie blamaed President Barack Obama for his role in the cuts to the base, and vowed to work with officials at the base to ensure its role in training troops.

“Inactivating the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Knox is extremely disappointing news for Kentucky’s Second District. This cut was a direct result of the President’s Defense Planning Guidance of 2012. Fort Knox is a unique facility and losing this unit of soldiers will significantly affect not only Hardin County, but the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Guthrie said in the statement.

Voters in the 2nd District first sent Guthrie to Congress in 2008.


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