Pressure on for rematch between candidates in Eastern Ky. district decided by 14 votes in 2014

10/07/2016 02:54 PM

BEATTYVILLE – In 2014, 91st district Republican State Rep.Toby Herald lost to Democratic challenger and current Rep. Cluster Howard by just 14 votes.

Two years later, Herald, who’s involved in the construction business, is seeking a return trip to Frankfort. The race has created a lot more interest this election year outside of the district, as both state Democrats and Republicans wrestle over majority control of the state House.

Howard, who is a dean and student ombudsman at Hazard Community and Technical Colleges, is looking for a second term in a district where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats.

The district is comprised of Breathitt, Estill, Lee, Owsley, and part of Madison County.

For Herald, returning to the General Assembly is all about flipping the House in favor of the GOP.

“This is not a self-interest thing for me, it’s for the Republican Party and their agenda for the state of Kentucky,” Herald said. “Hopefully, we can win the House and give Kentucky a greater chance for job creation, like small business people such as I am.”

On the other hand, Howard says that he’s grown tired of the “flip the House” rhetoric saying that leaves counties in his district largely forgotten about.

“It’s almost like this district, Owsley County, Lee County, Breathitt County, Estill County, and Waco are not important,” Howard said. “The message that’s being sent is, hey, we’ll run things on the state level. That’s the problem. The polarization of this whole attitude that the state knows what’s best for Owsley, Lee, Breathitt, and Estill, all the counties in my district and my area. You know, we know what’s best and not the state, and not national politicians.”

Both candidates, have received campaign help from their respective political party and feel that getting a good turnout will be the key.

“I’m going to win this election,” Herald said. “I’ve got a lot of good response from all of the people in all of the counties. I feel very confident that I’m going to win.”

“The key will be for people to be informed voters,” Howard said. “If they understand the issues, if they look at the record, then I have a good chance of winning. If they just go in and are influenced by national politics, these mailers that they are getting that are distracting in a way that will hurt me.”


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