Two weeks ago, Democratic party leaders from the 16th Kentucky Senate District completed a caucus meeting nominated Bill Conn for senate.
Conn will appear on the ballot December 18, in a special election, facing Sara Beth Gregory, a Monticello attorney and currently the 52nd District State Representative, who was chosen by 16th District Republicans in a similar caucus meeting to represent that party.
The December 18 special election is being held to allow voters to select who will represent this six-county district in the Kentucky Senate for the unexpired term recently vacated by then Senate President David Williams (R-Burkesville).
Williams recently left the state senate after accepting an appointment from Governor Steve Beshear to the Circuit Court judgship in this 40th Judicial District.
Conn spent most last Thursday campaigning in Clinton County walking around the square and talking with people as he campaigned.
His visit to Albany and Clinton County also includuded a brief stop for an interview with the Clinton County News, where he discussed his platform for the election that is now less than two weeks away.
Conn has been a Williamsburg elementary school teacher for the past seven years, and has been a farmer for the past four years.
“I have a few different ideas out there that I would like to see implemented. One of which is a tax free holiday at the beginning of the school year. As a parent myself, I can understand school costs become very expensive, so I would like to see our local citizens stay here instead of going across state lines.”
Conn said he believes this will give the state more revenue, while in turn add several more jobs and put money back into the community.
Another platform Conn will take on is the tourism industry. One suggestion Conn mentioned is starting school later in the year, after the Labor Day holiday.
“That can help generate extra revenues,” Conn said. “It does a couple of things … it keeps your high school kids working a couple of weeks later and it provides more customers because they are still out of school.”
On the farming side of things, Conn said he would like to see crop diversification throughout the state.
“It all starts with the farmers. I deal mostly with energy development in the farming sector,” Conn said. “I believe once we get our farmers growing a cash crop it can open up the doors to manufacturing and from manufacturing it can bring on more jobs for our people in our local economies.”
“I’ve been very fortunate up to this point. I’ve been seeing a lot of different folks and I’m just trying to get our ideas out to the people,” Conn said.
The 16th Kentucky State Senate District consists of Clinton, Cumberland, Monroe, Wayne, McCreary and Whitley counties.
“I’m just an average guy trying to make a difference for all our people,” Conn said. “Jobs are probably the number one issue that people are concerned about and I am too. It weighs on me very heavily.”
With Conn being an educator, he said the path education in Kentucky is taking is also something he is worrying about.
“If we don’t protect our children, and we don’t nurture that seed, then our future looks pretty bleak,” Conn said. “We have great schools in our district. I think our teachers work extremely hard and I’m very proud to be one of them.”
The election is being held to fill the unexpired term of long-time senator Williams, who resigned his senate seat after accepting an appointment from Governor Steve Beshear to the Circuit Court bench in the 40th Judicial District that includes Clinton, Cumberland and Monroe Counties.
“I’m very excited,” Conn said. “If we can do just those things in the tourism industry alone, it will make all the difference in the world.”