Where's the diversity?
I am wondering if anyone else has noticed a decided lack of diversity in this year's political ads. One candidate has gone so far as to advertise "He is just like us" as a qualification for voting for him.
Well "us" looks like a bunch of fairly well-to-do white folks only.
When did we stop striving for diversity? When did it become the "American" thing to do to push exclusivity?
Anyone who wants to serve on our city council, be our mayor, a 6th District congressional representative, or a senator needs to realize that Asians, African-Americans, Hispanics and all others matter.
No one group is better than another. Diversity is here now and the way of the future. I cannot believe that in the year 2010, this is still an issue.
Mary I. Lisle
Trey Grayson has been secretary of state for the past seven years, having been elected by a large majority each time. He has demonstrated his ability to serve the citizens of the commonwealth.
Grayson has modernized the office, cut staff and expenses and made all information that is required in regulatory issues readily available to the public.
Grayson has been my friend for several years. A family man, he and the former Nancy Humphrey have two young daughters. He realizes the issues that are important and what government must provide for the next generation — a sound economy, strong national defense and a clean environment.
You can depend on him for the same leadership in Washington. I urge you to vote for Trey Grayson May 18 and again in the General Election.
Keep O'Neill PVA
I support David O'Neill for property valuation administrator. Possibly the PVA comes to mind when you receive your annual property tax bill or when you sell or purchase a home. Even at these times, it may seem like a distant public office.
In the past year that O'Neill has occupied the office, he has been accessible to the public.
Indeed, he has reached out to residents, by doing such simple things as attending neighborhood association meetings to see how his office can meet our needs.
He also holds invaluable technical skills. Given his past work with the statistical component of the racing industry, he is able to manage large data sets and make sense of them.
I trust David O'Neill's skills and belief in public accountability to steer our community correctly as we negotiate uncertain economic times with one of our most valued assets: our homes.
As a retired employee of the Fayette District Court, I can speak in nothing but glowing terms of District Judge Maria Ransdell.
She has been a competent and fair judge for the last 13 years, a practicing attorney long before that and has dedicated her life to the public good. A quick read of her resumé shows she has the knowledge, experience and ability to continue on as district judge.
I heartily endorse her and encourage all citizens to vote for her as she is the most qualified candidate for this important position.
Ransdell helped family
A member of my immediate family was a victim of domestic violence. The perpetrator was given a chance on probation but violated that probation by continuing to stalk and endanger our loved one.
This case was handled by District Judge Maria Ransdell. I attended all of the proceedings and experienced firsthand the frustrations of being a non-lawyer involved on behalf of a victim.
Although the defense did everything possible to avoid consequences, Ransdell imposed a sentence made sure the perpetrator understood that there would be harsh consequences if her judgment was violated.
Her understanding of domestic violence and the very real harm it causes made a difference for my family. We will all vote to re-elect Judge Maria Ransdell on May 18.
Wilkie for judge
I strongly support the candidacy of Kim Wilkie in the election for judge in Fayette District Court. He and I have practiced law for more years than either of us care to remember. Wilkie has the benefit of having been in the legal trenches as a prominent practicing attorney for the past 29 years.
Believe me when I say that there is no better experience which qualifies one for service as a judge than having been a successful practicing attorney. He has the intelligence, knowledge and demeanor to be an outstanding judge.
I highly recommend and enthusiastically endorse Kim Wilkie for judge of the Fayette District Court.
David Russell Marshall
Witt a good steward
As the director of finance in the Fayette sheriff's office, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand the character and integrity Sheriff Kathy Witt brings with her to elected office. She is consistently honest and accountable to the citizens of Fayette County.
Witt has gone above and beyond to demonstrate her careful stewardship of public funds. Each year, the Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts reviews the books and has consistently expressed its approval of Witt's procedures and results.
Through her careful fiscal management, she has avoided the cuts in service now facing many other public agencies.
These results are a reflection of her honesty, her integrity and her sense of responsibility. She has earned another term as our sheriff.
I'm voting for Don Pratt for council at large. He is a decent, caring, individual who will be a voice for the underdog. He is an advocate for legalizing medicinal marijuana in Fayette County. Please vote for Don Pratt.
History of caring
I support Don Pratt for council at large. I have known him for many years, and I deeply admire the fact that he has loved, supported and raised over 50 foster children — two of whom he adopted.
I have spent my adult life dealing with the consequences of my own childhood sexual abuse. One of the dirty little secrets of Kentucky is that a high percentage of children in foster care were victims of childhood sexual abuse.
People like Pratt serve an invaluable role in helping the least of these deal with the pain and heartbreak that the other adults in their lives have caused.
He is one of my heroes. I encourage everyone to vote for him.
Pratt ideal candidate
If you could design an ideal officeholder, you couldn't do better than one who is running for council at large: Don Pratt.
He has immense patience and wisdom. He has guided dozens of foster children on the path to good citizenship. Many were from troubled homes and had severe behavioral problems and difficulty trusting adults. Pratt made a positive difference in their lives.
He also has tremendous courage. He's championed progressive causes for over 40 years, from opposition to the Vietnam War to demand for government accountability.
I've never known him to be on the wrong side, even though his position may not have been the popular one initially. Time proves Don Pratt right.
His allegiance will always be to the citizens of Lexington, not to wealthy special interests. Don Pratt truly is the ideal candidate. Vote for him and he will be the ideal councilman at large.
Three strong women
The upcoming primary presents me with the rare pleasure to speak on behalf of two fellow law school classmates, District Judge Maria Ransdell and former Mayor Teresa Isaac.
These extraordinary women have hearts of gold and share a real passion for people. Combined with keen intellects, these traits have helped Ransdell and Isaac provide many years of service to our community.
They have the courage and grace to stand solidly on the side of truth and justice, regardless of how difficult the challenge and I cannot speak highly enough of them both.
My same high regards go also to Kathy Plomin, another friend from college days who is a superb candidate for council at large.
Now this in no way diminishes my respect for the other candidates, all of whom are friends and fine public servants. I wish everybody the very best.
Richard F. Dawahare
Roberts for state Senate
I urge the voters of Fayette County to vote for Andy Roberts for state senator.
I became disenchanted with politics and politicians many years ago when it became apparent that it made little difference whether the candidate was Democrat or Republican.
As soon as a lawmaker is elected, the only concern is re-election, and every vote was cast with that in mind. Roberts is not the typical politican; the least of his concerns will be his re-election.
Unlike his opponent, Alice Forgy Kerr, and the rest of her Republican cronies, Roberts will not take his marching orders from Senate President David Williams, who has hypocritically patronized Indiana riverboats while opposing expanded gaming in Kentucky.
Just remember when you go to the polls: A vote for Kerr is a vote for Williams.
James L. Avritt Sr.
As a practicing attorney in Fayette County, I have had the privilege of knowing Sheriff Kathy Witt professionally for more than 15 years. During that time, Witt has truly impressed me. Her excellent administration of her office and her commitment to community service are well known.
However, she has also received state and national recognition for her work in preventing domestic violence. Witt is a dedicated public servant of unparalleled professionalism.
As her friend, I can also confirm that she exhibits the same integrity and devotion in her private life. She demonstrates a personal commitment to her family and friends that is an example to all of us.
Witt deserves our appreciation and thanks for a job well done. She has earned your vote for sheriff.
Plomin for council
Kathy Plomin is an ideal candidate for public service and particularly for council at large. Plomin has the education, the experience, the knowledge of this community and, most importantly, the desire and the creativity to make Lexington a better place to live.
She served as vice president of sales, marketing and communications at WKYT-TV and then she was recruited to become president of United Way of the Bluegrass.
From 2000 to 2009, she transformed that organization to its current status as a leader in community impact, initiating many beneficial programs along the way.
Plomin has served on numerous boards and received many awards for her community service. I think Lexington is fortunate that she wants to be a public servant and is ready to commit to serving.
She has all the qualifications we need, and I urge you to vote for Kathy Plomin for council at large.
When we say, "Who cares?" as did the April 25 editorial about Councilman Chuck Ellinger's behavior at a bachelor party, do we think private behavior does not affect public persona?
There is a direct correlation between character with integrity, no matter who is watching, and the ability to govern with integrity. Do we really believe elected officials can compartmentalize private behaviors from public decision-making?
We have systematically discarded the moral foundations of our Constitution while giving license for every consenting adult to set the example that "feels good."
Then, when life gets really tough — car dealerships close, banks fail, we lose jobs and houses, we don't get the increase in unemployment benefits and government doesn't pay our health care bill — we cry, "God bless, America."
Wake up. We are exactly where we voted to be.
Debra R. Kiser