Three Republicans seek 55th District nomination

May 13, 2004|ANN HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - Three men are vying for the Republican Party's nomination to seek the seat in the state House of Representatives that Rep. Jack Coleman will vacate at the end of this year.

Louis Dean Sr., Milward Dedman and T.A. Green want to represent the 55th district, which Coleman has represented for 14 years and includes Mercer and Anderson counties and a portion of Spencer County.

Dedman, 39, said the top job for state legislators is to pass a budget, and partisan bickering has caused the General Assembly to fail in that job.

"When that's the number one priority when they go down there, it doesn't matter what else they do, if they don't do that, they're not doing their job," Dedman said. "It's affecting our entire state.


"The governor said he's not going to call a special session for them to do what they did for 60 days," he said.

Green, 57, takes a more general stance. "The very real need is to change the status quo. If things were cool, I'd just sit back and enjoy the ride."

Dean's reasons for running are the same as they were in his previous efforts in 1998 and 2002. "We need strong leadership in the legislature, and that needs to be from a Biblical standpoint," he said.

All three GOP candidates pointed to education as a way to better the state, but took different views as to how it might be improved.

"Education is not knowledge; it's action," Green said.

He called for the return to an earlier time. "We studied statesmen because they were the model," he said of his education in political science. "We didn't study politicians."

Dean, 52, also looked to the past. "Ever since prayer and the Bible were taken out of the schools in the early 60s, crime statistics have gotten dramatically worse, births to unwed mothers have increased and scores on college entrance exams have declined dramatically."

Dedman points to a lack of a budget as hurting education, since school systems don't know how to budget if they don't know what funds they will be getting from the state. "Mercer County is talking about their facility plan and they don't know how much money they're going to get."

But Dedman also had a more positive way to solve some of education's problems. "Getting more money in the classroom to benefit the children," was one solution.

Dedman points to other goals and issues:

* Drugs in Mercer and Anderson counties. He wants to work with local officials to combat the problem.

* Attracting industry to the state and more specifically, to the 55th district.

* Lowering health insurance premiums and the cost of prescription drugs, and,

* Put aside partisan politics.

"I think our legislators are going to have to start working for the people and forget politics if our state is going to move forward," he said.

Green looked to health care, too, and pointed back to education. "People need to be educated about how to take care of themselves. They should know it's not healthy to eat at McDonald's every day."

He, too, is concerned about making Kentucky more attractive to industrial commercial and farming interests with a better educated, more competitive work force.

Dean says the basis of his public service would be Christian views and a strong moral leadership.

"That is my primary concern and reason for getting involved in the race," he said. "In many cases, I don't think our morals and Christian beliefs are being observed to the extent they should be in Frankfort."

Green points to his life experiences, including 21 years in the Navy as a pilot, recruiter and investigator for the Judge Advocate General's staff, his creation and running of a small business and work as a budget counselor. "All of those together gives you a package that can be aptly applied in the political arena," he said.

Dean says Republicans should vote for him Tuesday because, "I am the most conservative, and I will take the strongest stand from a Biblical perspective. I'm not going to pretend to represent a Muslim belief or other beliefs I don't agree with."

He would defend the Defense of Marriage Act and not only ban gay marriage, but also the recognition of civil unions.

Dedman says his family has a long history in Mercer County. "I feel like I would get the most votes in the district and have the best chance of winning (over a Democratic Party candidate.)"

"I know the needs of the people and ... I'll put the needs of the people before politics."

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