Democrats covet 12th Dist. seat held by former Democrat Jim Gooch

11/01/2016 03:25 PM

OWENSBORO – The 12th House District race features 22-year incumbent Jim Gooch, running as a Republican for the first time since flipping in January, and Democratic challenger Jim Townsend, former long-time Webster County judge-executive.

Democrats and their PAC groups are targeting Gooch in the campaign as Kentucky Family Values has spent $45,225, according to Kentucky Registry of Election Finance filings.

Pro-Republican PAC, Kentuckians for strong Leadership, have spent $99,827 in the district defending Gooch, as well as $19,110 in radio advertising.

The district encompasses all of McClean, Webster, and parts of Daviess and Hopkins

Gooch says that he feels no different running as a Republican for the first time, and feels that, after 22 years in the state legislature, voters in the district know what he is all about.

“I’m the same person I was before, my core values hasn’t changed, core principles haven’t changed, my work ethic hasn’t changed, my view of the district hasn’t changed,” Gooch said.

Townsend believes that it is time for a change, and some individuals in the district were disappointed in Gooch for joining the GOP.

“We have not gotten things that we should have been getting, and honestly, I don’t think that he’s represented us very well at all,” Townsend said.

Townsend believes that his 35 years of county government, including 25 years as Webster County judge-executive, gives him the experience that he needs to be an effective legislator.

“I know the people in Frankfort, not just the governor, and not just the top echelon, I know the people who do the work,” Townsend said. “Being county judge has given me the ability to know these people.”

Gooch says voters already know what they are getting with him, a 22-year incumbent who is tried and tested.

“They know what I stand for, they know what I’m willing to fight for, and I think they see that and they know that’s nothing’s going to change,” Gooch said.

Gooch believes that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump could be a benefit to his campaign, while Townsend hopes and believes that the House race will be a separate entity from the presidential election.


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