By CECIL PERGRAM
Democratic Candidiate Reggie Thomas of Lexington is running for Kentuck’y’s Sixth Congressional District seat that is currently held by Andy Barr. In the photo Thomas listens to the attending public during a forum held at the Old Wolfe County Courthouse in Campton.
On July 1 Reggie Thomas a democrat from Lexington announced intentions to run for the 6th District Congressional seat that it currently held by Republican Andy Barr.
On August 8 in Campton, Ky Thomas held a public forum at the old Wolfe County Courthouse to listen to some of the concerns from citizens about how they’re currently being represented at the federal level in Washington.
Thomas a lawyer and professor at Kentucky State University says that he had a love for politics all his life.
Thomas says that he likes to tell the story of how he first became interested in politics one night after his father came home when he was 7-years-old turned on the television set and told his son that he ought to watch this because it was important.
Thomas’ father had his son watching the first televised presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.
“I sat on my dad’s knee in the floor and watched the Kennedy-Nixon debate and I was enthralled with them discussing the biggest issues of the day about putting in an interstate highway, the Cold War and sending a man to the moon.” Thomas said. “From then on I was fascinated and captivated with politics, government and wanted to be involved with that.”
Thomas says that he wanted to run for the 6th Congressional District in Kentucky because he feels that the people are getting poor representation in Washington D.C.
“We have a congressman that says people should be taken off of healthcare. They’re 82,000 people in his congressional district that have received health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. Our current congressman wants to take them off the healthcare rolls and says he wants to abolish the Affordable Care Act.” Thomas said. “He voted for that and I think thats going in the wrong direction not only should we keep those 82,000 people on the healthcare rolls so that they have insurance but we can find additional ways to bring even more people into healthcare coverage.”
Thomas says he also doesn’t agree with a statement made by Barr to support the tax plan that is being proposed by the Trump administration. Thomas says that he feels that tax plan would put a heavier tax burden on working class and poor people.
“I think everybody should pay their fair share of taxes. I don’t think the burden should fall heavily or unfairly on working class or middle class people.” Thomas said. “I think the rich should pay their fair share and probably have to pay more because they’re making more.”
“I don’t think this congressman that we have in office now represents the people that we see here in Powell or Wolfe Counties. He wants to over burden them and give a pass to the wealthy and the business class individuals.” Thomas said. “He wants to take away their health insurance and go back to a time when their only healthcare option was the emergency room and a hospital.”
Thomas says that if elected he wants to make sure that people in his congressional district have access to a doctor and have health insurance that is affordable to them.
“In Powell County our rate of cancer deaths is 50-to-77 percent higher than the rest of the nation and I want to change that.” Thomas said. “When you have a congressman that says he wants to make healthcare less accessible, to make health insurance more expensive and says he wants to allow insurance companies to take people with pre-existing conditions like cancer survivors and not provide them coverage at all, I think thats wrong.”
“I want to change that and I want to make sure that everybody in this district is able to go see a doctor and be able to afford to go see that doctor. That’s why I want to go to congress and go to Washington to do that for the people of this district,” said Thomas.
Thomas says that he is a staunch opponent of cutting support to programs in public education such access to safe schools, textbooks learning and reducing the amount of funding that go towards the free lunch or breakfast program.
“Those kind of programs are vital for school districts in this congressional district. Our current congressman has indicated that he would support that type of budget that weakens public education and its resources for our schools,” said Thomas
Thomas says that he doesn’t agree with decisions in Washington and Frankfort to support charter schools.
“I’m a staunch opponent of that because thats going to take money out of public schools and make public schools have less funds to educate students,” said Thomas. “I have no problem with people who want to pursue private education thats their right but they shouldn’t be using public money to learn in a private education setting. I want public money to go to public schools.”
Thomas says he and Congressman Andy Barr have a difference of opinion in their views about payday lending when people use their paychecks to borrow money.
“He’s wants to keep the unreasonably high interest rates that people have to pay and get into a downward spiral of debt.” Thomas said. “I do not approve of pay day lenders taking advantage of people and making them more and more impoverished. Those interest rates should be limited and we need to look at alternative ways when people need short-term cash that they can get it in a way that allows them to pay it back without getting caught in a web of debt that they end up more impoverished than before.”
Thomas says that his platform believes that his districts needs to make improvements to its infrastructure to make roads and bridges more accessible and safer for people to travel that jobs will follow.
“If we enhance our transportation system for example the Mountain Parkway if we take the Mountain Parkway and build a attractive, accessible and safe parkway we’ll see jobs come into Campton, Stanton, Clay City.” Thomas said. “You build a strong infrastructure you’ll have a strong economy with more jobs. Lets get that done.”