Retiring Rep. Mike Denham says political partisanship can get in the way of progress

04/17/2016 09:15 AM

MAYSVILLE — Rep. Mike Denham, D-Maysville, who has served since 2001, decided not to seek re-election back in December because of health concerns.

Denham says that current political partisanship has, in some cases, stifled progress in the House.

During his 15 years in the legislature Denham says partisanship has grown in the General Assembly, especially as Republican members have grown in the chamber, resulting in a battle of which direction to go.

“You know, you’ve got one side trying to keep the House and the other side trying to take the House over, so it’s led to bitter conflict from time to time,” Denham said. “Even though I still think we have good camaraderie in most cases, the partisanship pretty well dictates a lot of things, where it didn’t use to.”

Denham is proud of the bills that he’s worked on to serve the rural population of the state.One of his favorite bills concerned the establishment of agri-tourism.

“It was an idea that was brought to me by home extension agents in the area, and everybody kind of scoffed at it at first, but now it’s become a $2 billion industry across the state,” he said.

Three candidates are seeking the open seat. Democrat John Sims of Fleming County is unopposed on the Democratic primary, while two Republicans, James Johnson of Bracken County, and John Van Meter of Mason County are competing on the Republican side.

The district includes largely rural Mason, Bracken, Fleming, and Robertson counties.


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