State Sen. Reggie Thomas announced today that he’s running for the U.S. Congress to represent Kentucky’s 6th district.
About 200 people attended the noon announcement at the historic Lyric Theatre, in Lexington, where Thomas, 64, outlined why he’s running and what he hopes to accomplish.
“What I see now that concerns me deeply. “Congress is selling out to special interests. How much your vote can anger the other side is what passes for accomplishment, and people in Kentucky are starting to lose faith that their children and grandchildren will have better lives. It’s time that we have a representative in Washington who will put the people of Kentucky first, and that is why today I am announcing I am a candidate for United States Congress in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.”
The seat is now held by Garland Hale “Andy” Barr IV, a Lexington attorney elected in 2012.
“This is not Andy Barr’s seat. It is the people’s seat, in the people’s house, and it’s time for the people to take it back,” Thomas said.
Thomas pointed to the commonwealth’s high national ranking for cases of cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure and pledged to fight for affordable health insurance so Kentuckians can get treatment without concerns about pre-existing conditions not being covered.
Drawing on his own background, Thomas noted the importance of education and credited his for the success he’s enjoyed as a Harvard-educated lawyer and Kentucky State University professor, who was reared by a single mother after his father’s death.
“Without education, I would have nothing. … With an education anything is possible,” he said. “That’s why I have devoted much of my life to helping young people. I volunteered my time at my alma mater Bryan Station, Fayette County Schools and Bluegrass Community and Technical College.”
He also noted: “It makes me sick to my stomach to see what is being done to education in this country. The demonizing of teachers… just to try to score some points with the far right media. Teachers are skilled professionals who could be making more money in the private sector, but who have a calling to help young people get prepared for life.”
In Congress, he pledged to fight against charter schools and to ensure Kentucky public schools are community schools not corporate compound.
He called for more effort toward improving the job market and Kentucky’s infrastructure.
“We aren’t going to fix these problems overnight, and we are never going to fix them if we continue to let the professional political class in Washington continue to divide us just so that they can stay in power longer,” Thomas said. “So, together with your help and with the blessing of Almighty God we can, and we will start to put Kentucky and this country back on the road to personal, financial and spiritual prosperity.”
In this travels over the last several month, Thomas said he’s frequently been asked how he can defeat Andy Barr. Step one will be a listening tour that will take him to each of the district 19 counties.
“Out of that listening tour, we are going to build a campaign of the people and for the people, and that’s how we are going to beat Andy Barr!” Thomas said.
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