Pendleton County Democrat party looks to retain their county presence through the General Election
For the chairperson of the Pendleton County Democrat party, his life began as a Democrat via the coal mines of Eastern Kentucky.
“I was born into it,” said Roger McKinney. “I’m the son of a coal miner and the grandson of a coal miner. They were both Democrats and both pro-union.”
With the strikes and formation of unions during those coal mining days in the early 1900’s, McKinney’s family had a strong foundation tied with the Democrat party.
It was a life-long commitment to the party that led him to take a leadership position after the reformation of the local party. The local party had been disbanded from 2012-2015 according to McKinney. Membership had gotten so small with lack of interest and funding that led to the disbanding.
With him serving as chairperson, the Pendleton County Democrat Executive Committee is made up of Christine Gudorf serving as Vice-Chairperson, Caroyln McGlassen as Treasurer, Mary Saylor who is Secretary. The committee meets at 6 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the Pendleton County Public Library.
With the Democrats not holding any of the three elected bodies (executive and legislative) at either the state or national level, McKinney sees the party being able to take control of the House of Representatives at the federal level.
“In the House, they are expected to get 44 or more seats but the Senate is another story,” he said.
Continuing, he pointed out that they need six or seven seats but could lose that many seats in the U. S. Senate.
With the investigation of President Trump concerning Russian collusion and interfering with campaign finance laws, he expects the Democrats to regain control of the Executive Branch in 2020.
“At the state level, I think the whole thing can turn around,” he said about the upcoming elections in November that sees Pendleton Countians deciding both their state Senator and Representative.
“With what’s going on in Washington, it possibly could bring more people out to vote and traditionally, there are more registered Democrats in the state and in Pendleton County,” said McKinney.
With the mid-term elections poised to send a statement on the Trump Presidency, McKinney cautioned that traditionally Democrats do not turn out to vote.
“Democrats are not good for off-year elections. They turn out for Presidential elections, but the middle elections, they don’t,” said McKinney.
Locally, McKinney sees less of a difference in Democrats and Republicans in the minds of voters.
“It’s not so much as party as it is personality, track record, and family name,” he said as he does not see the wedge issues at the local level as you see them at the nationally level.
Pendleton County Democrats are more Blue Dog Democrats according to McKinney. They are Democrats who are registered
Democrats but are conservative and more aligned with Republicans on issues.
Seth Hall will be challenging Thomas Massie for the U.S. House of Representative seat.
Greg Coulson, who is an inlaw to retired teachers at a time that public school education and teacher retirement pensions has been thrust into the state limelight, will be challenging Mark Hart for the 78th District Kentucky House of Representative seat.
Rachel Roberts from Newport will be trying to unseat Wil Schroder for the 10th District Senate position. He announced that Roberts will be debating Schroder at Northern Kentucky University Community Center 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2.
Locally, he emphasized that Democrat and Pendleton County Sheriff Craig Peoples would make a good judge executive because, “He has been an administrator with the sheriff’s office and has worked with the Fiscal Court.”
Whomever is selected as Judge Executive will be working with Fiscal Court where there are three Democrats being challenged by three Republicans.
Dennis A. Gosney is looking to replace retiring Magistrate Gary Veirs in District 2, Bobby Fogle is looking to be reelected in District 3 and Rick Mineer is the incumbent in District 4.
McKinney pointed out that Mineer served on Falmouth City Council before he moved onto the Fiscal Court.
He continued with pointing out that the Fogle family is well-respected in the community and have a history of business ties in Falmouth with Becky’s Flower Basket.
Todd Dennie is on the Democrat seeking the top law enforcement position in the county as sheriff.
“He’s been with Sheriff’s Office for a very long time, very responsible, very reliable and done a great job,” said Dennie. “He has a lot of experience.”
Jeff Dean will be looking to continue his long service to the community as County Attorney.
“Of course, Jeff is golden,” said McKinney. “He’s well-respected in the community, done a great job as county attorney, and worked very closely with the fiscal court.”
Democrat Scott Shepperd will be seeking the office of Constable for District 1.
While recent efforts to register more adults to vote have not been rousing success, McKinney had indicated that there are approximately 14,000 people, including children, in Pendleton County and over 10,000 are registered. “A lot are registered but if you look at the voting rolls, not a lot vote,” said McKinney.
The full conversation can be viewed at www.falmouthoutlook.com and click on the video section.