Two Democrats seek 55th District nomination

May 13, 2004|ANN HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - Two Democrats are seeking their party's nomination to the 55th District post in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Sharon P. Clark, 51, and Floyd Alan Adams, 62, will face each other for the nomination in the primary election Tuesday.

"I really am interested in serving the community," Adams said in a telephone interview. "I don't even know what a representative makes; money is not my primary motivation.

"After working in the private sector for 37 years, I feel like I'd like to work in the public sector for a period in my life."


Clark, too, wants to work with district residents who need help. "Being a state legislator, passing laws in the General Assembly, is just part of it," she said. "Providing assistance to local officials and citizens is important to me.

"I will not seek other employment," she said, noting she will be a full-time legislator. "I will be able to work full time. If they want to go to Frankfort, I'm willing to go with them," she said of citizens needing help from state government.

Education is at the top of every candidate's list of important issues in the legislature.

"Education is the top priority," Clark said. She pointed to her teaching experience in the public schools and at the University of Kentucky.

"It gives you a first-hand experience in the problems that face parents and teachers in the classroom," she said. "It's walking the walk."

"We need to emphasize the importance of education," she said. "It enhances everything in your life."

For his part, Adams called for maintaining the funding for education in Kentucky, but not the same amount of dollars. "We need to at least maintain the level of funding for education and increase it to stay level with inflation."

Salaries for teachers and professors need to be increased, Clark and Adams said.

"If we don't, our students won't be able to keep pace and compete," Adams said.

"I'd like to see us go back to the funding levels in 1994," Clark said. "Too many teachers and professors are leaving."

Both candidates would work on the health care issue as well.

"We need to address the health care insurance (rates), especially for people who own small businesses or are self-employed," Adams said. "Those are the people really being crushed with health care insurance premiums."

Clark says her job as director of Consumer Protection in the Insurance Department of state government has given her a unique perspective from which to deal with health insurance. She was the first to hold the job.

"It's a difficult job, but I loved it," she said.

Some people don't like a great deal of human contact, which the job required. "To me, that's what government is about." In the job, she assisted in drawing up bills to be brought to the legislature and got some of them passed.

"I think I have the best knowledge and experience and commitment to be a good legislator," Clark said. "I care about people and I know how to get things done.

"I'd like to continue working with the people. I think I can hit the ground running and be an effective legislator from day one."

Adams has promised, "I'm willing to help anybody I can with the means I have as long as what they want to do is legal. I am very serious about doing a good job of representing the people. If I wasn't going to do a good job, I wouldn't embarrass myself by seeking the position."

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