Gray hosts opioid council, bashes McConnell, others saying actions "too little, too late"

05/04/2018 10:49 AM

LEXINGTON — Sixth Congressional District Democratic candidate and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray convened a new opioid advisory council on Thursday, seeking a solution to the opiate epidemic that is ravaging the state and nation.

Gray brought together families, survivors, medical professionals and law enforcement to talk about ways to combat the drug scourge. Gray also touted his efforts in bringing an overdose reversing drug to first responders and implementing a needle exchange program during his time as mayor.

The Mayor also placed blame at the feet of politicians in Congress.

“I will tell you that we are, frankly, damn sick and tired of empty rhetoric from Washington — they tell us how this is a top priority and then they go back to doing all the silly political stuff they were doing before the conversation even started,” Gray said. “This is not a game, these are real people, these are real lives.

“Anyone who is talking about cutting Medicaid is simply not serious about saving these lives,” Gray continued. “Let me say that again, so maybe Andy Barr and Mitch McConnell will hear it, anybody who is talking about cutting Medicaid is not serious about saving these lives.”

Gray said success in the fight against opiates will take place one life at a time. The Lexington Mayor said what is needed in the fight in the 6th Congressional District is more treatment options.

On Monday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held a press conference touting new legislation he’s introducing called the CAREER Act, which is meant to match those recovering addicts with jobs, and authorizes up to a billion dollars for transitional housing for recovering addicts.

Gray said he is not familiar with the entire plan, but what he has seen in the past is “too little, too late.”

Recent internal polling shows the primary race tightening between Gray, and former Marine Corps fighter pilot Amy McGrath. The election for the Democratic nomination takes place on May 22nd.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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