Retired Marshall County educator Linda Story Edwards is very familiar with her opponent for the Kentucky General Assembly's 6th District House seat in the November general election. She was his kindergarten teacher.
Edwards, a Democrat, said she remembers Republican candidate Chris Freeland, the general manager of Freeland Broadcasting, a family-owned group of radio stations and the online Marshall County Daily "as a nice, quiet five year old."
"I'm proud of the fact that I was Chris' s teacher and I hope he's proud of the fact that he was my student," Edwards told the Herald-Leader.
Freeland said his mother taught with Edwards and he's friends with her sons.
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"She and I both get along great and hopefully that will stay that way. And other people surrounding the candidates will also behave like we are going to.," said Freeland. "Hopefully it will be a friendly election and issue based. "
"I don't want to get into the mudslinging," said Freeland .
Edwards said she feels the same way. and has been friends with Freeland's parents for years.
"I have nothing but respect for Chris and his entire family and we want our race to be run like that, total respect for each other," she said.
The seat is open because the current Democratic representative Will Coursey is running for Marshall County Judge- Executive.
Edwards said she has traveled the district learning about the struggles that families face: Health care, better jobs, safe schools, and the struggles of small business owners. She said the dominant force behind her primary victory was retired and active teachers, state workers, working families and senior citizens.
"I have been angered by sustained attacks on public education, teachers, and public sector pension funding," she said.
"The key issue is always the budget and how we spend the dollars to help each and every citizens," Edwards said. " We have to have a vision for how we allocate the money in a fair manner, whether it be pensions both the teacher pension and the state workers, whether it be affordable health care."
Freeland said he also has support from some current and former teachers.
He said the area needs some good jobs.
"I'm a limited government guy. People ought to be able to keep more of their money and businesses ought to be able to keep more of their money and not have to give it all into taxes and regulations and things of that nature," he said.
Both Edwards and Freeland think local authorities are being proactive on the issue of safe schools in the aftermath of a January shooting at Marshall County High School in which a student allegedly killed two classmates and shot and wounded 14 others.
If he becomes a state lawmaker, Freeland said "I want to do whatever is needed," to make Marshall County schools safer.
Edwards said she doesn't want another child's life lost. She is in favor of fixed metal detectors in addition to metal detector wands and thinks school property perimeters should be secured.
Despite the friendliness, both candidates are running a competitive race.
"It is what it is," Edwards said of her relationship with Freeland. "I'm going to work every day to be the next representative from the sixth district."