Lieutenant governor candidates talk about women in politics and issues in N. Ky. forum

08/05/2015 04:44 PM

COVINGTON – The Republican and Democrat candidates for lieutenant governor feel that the landscape for women in politics is better than ever, and that fact has resulted in more women in the commonwealth running for statewide offices in 2015.

Democrat lieutenant governor candidate Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, and Republican Jenean Hampton took part in a “Women in Politics” forum held on Wednesday in Covington.

This year, the Democrats have three women running for statewide office, Overly, Alison Grimes for Secretary of State and Jean-Marie Lawson Spann for Commissioner of Agriculture while the Republicans have Hampton as well as Allison Ball for State Treasurer.

“The landscape for women is definitely better,” Hampton said. “I think we’re not really a novelty. You don’t want to be novelty.”

Overly mentioned that Democrats have led the way with women in politics using former Governor Martha Layne Collins as an example. She’s also pleased that both parties have fielded female candidates for the 2015 elections.

“I’m excited on both slates, for the constitutional offices, that we’re seeing more women in both parties,” Overly said.

The candidates also addressed some of the issues facing the commonwealth, including one big issue in northern Kentucky, a new Brent Spence Bridge.

Hampton said that she wants to closely look at all of the options including how to finance a new Brent Spence Bridge or looking at the construction of a new by-pass bridge to the east side of the area which would bring potential development to southern Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties.

“We won’t commit to anything until we can see and fully evaluate the details of all of the proposals out there,” Hampton said.

Overly said that Jack Conway, the Democratic candidate for governor, doesn’t feel that northern Kentucky has reached a consensus on tolling being part of the equation for construction of a new bridge, so, therefore he is opposed to it at the current time.

“I do believe that P3s are a valuable tool for the state to use,” Overly said. “But I think the other part of that conversation has to be about whether a community is ready for that sort of project.”

Another major issue for the region has been the spike in heroin. The legislature passed a comprehensive anti-heroin bill this year, but Hampton said she wasn’t sure how much the law could help.

“I hope they work, but I don’t know if it addresses the root cause,” Hampton said. “There’s something going on in society that I don’t think that you can address with legislation.”


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