Herald-Leader Endorsements

Re-elect Westrom in 79th District

79th District incumbent serves with integrity

October 19, 2012 

If all else were equal, Rep. Susan Westrom would get our endorsement on the basis of a single stand she took in 2011.

Westrom was one of very few lawmakers from either party who spoke out against one of the most brazen examples ever of money triumphing over the public good in Kentucky.

Optometrists blanketed the legislature with campaign contributions and then got a law allowing them to perform eye surgery even though they are not medical doctors.

Westrom spoke publicly of an optometrist who told her she should vote for the bill because he had given money to her campaign.

After she was unable to amend the measure, she voted against it, one of just 14 votes in the 100-member House for protecting Kentuckians' eyes.

Westrom's integrity did her Lexington district proud and would, as we said, be enough to earn our nod if all things were equal.

But they're not. Westrom's 14 years as one of Kentucky's hardest-working lawmakers give her a wide edge over her opponent Republican Chris Logan.

Westrom has championed many good causes, from college dorm and nursing home safety to consumer protection. She has been a crusader for improving the state's child protection system and is trying to take Lexington's smoke-free law statewide.

She's persistent and good at enlisting bipartisan support for her ideas, which include supporting traditional Kentucky industries such as racing, bourbon and coal.

We like Logan, too, and endorsed him in the Republican primary. A Lexington business owner and pastor, he is personable and well spoken and obviously interested in public service. He ran two earlier non-partisan races against Lexington council member KC Crosbie.

In this legislative race, he's advocating Republican ideas such as a right to work law which he says would spur Kentucky's economy and charter schools.

Logan should stay involved. But, once again, he's up against an incumbent who voters should re-elect.

The unendorsed candidate may submit a 250-word response by noon Tuesday.

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