Three plan to run for Coleman's House seat

January 04, 2004|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - Two Democrats and one Republican have expressed their intent to run for the 55th district seat in the state House of Representatives being vacated by Rep. Jack Coleman, a Democrat. Coleman will leave at the end of this year.

The Democrats, Floyd Alan Adams and Sharon P. Clark, have filed the necessary documents in the office of Kentucky Secretary of State. Milward Dedman says he plans to file in Frankfort Monday.

Adams and Dedman are new to elective politics while Clark ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate 1994. For almost six years she has worked in the Kentucky Department of Insurance as the director of the Division of Consumer Protection and Education Division. She resigned from that job when she decided to seek elective office.

Adams retired from 3m Corp. as pharmaceutical salesman after 37 years with the company. He lives on a cattle farm on Alford and Stratton roads.


Dedman is in business with his grandfather, Edwin Freeman, in the auction and tobacco sales and family farming businesses.

Dedman changed his party affiliation in November, having been a Democrat most of his life. He maintains he did not make the change because he planned to seek political office. "I changed because I am more closely aligned with the Republican Party rather than the Democratic Party on the main issues on the national level," Dedman said. "My parents and wife have been Republicans for years."

He said he did not think his party affiliation has much bearing on state issues. "Basically, this is a conservative area and I think I'm a middle-of-the-road Republican."

Both Dedman and Adams said running for political office has always had been a goal. "I always promised myself if I got to retire, my second career would be running for office," Adams said. "When Jack Coleman said he was not going to run, I said that was my window of opportunity."

"It's always been something I wanted to do and I felt the timing was right," Dedman said. Clark and Dedman are Mercer County natives while Adams has owned property here since 1971 and became a full-time resident in 1986.

Adams admits there are a lot of people in Mercer County who don't know him, but he intends to remedy that with a door-to-door and one-on-one campaign. "I want the people to get to know me," Adams said.

Clark and Dedman may be better known to the people here, but they both plan to hit the campaign trail. When that happens for Dedman depends on if he is the only Republican seeking the office. Currently, Dedman is the only announced GOP candidate.

Adams and Clark know they have opposition in each other and will have to win in the May 18 primary before one of them can look forward to the General Election on Nov. 2.

Adams says his main concerns are issues confronting agriculture, conservation and good water. Clark's concerns include health insurance and the price of prescription drugs, agriculture, education and job creation and retention.

"I literally have talked to people who have to make the choice between their medications and their food." She says she has worked with the legislature on both sides of the political aisle and with both the Senate and the House.

She points to the 37 bills she helped get passed by the Legislature and it is that experience that she believes makes her more qualified to be a member of the House. "I've been there and I've walked the walk. I know the budget process and I've had practical experience." Clark promises to be a full-time legislator. "I have a work ethic I'm very proud of."

Dedman's concerns are similar to Clark's. He says the rising cost of health insurance is harmful to small businesses and new opportunities for young people are important. "I feel like we need to increase our economic development opportunities," he said. "I want to provide opportunities for our children to come back to." He has children in school and says he is active in education.

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