Keep Palumbo in House 76

At a March House Education Committee hearing about a proposed anti-bullying bill, some lawmakers responded with near hostility to parents telling painful stories about their children committing suicide after being bullied.

Some actually argued that the bill —which would have required schools to adopt a code of conduct — sought to give special rights to gay students and make it harder for Christian teens to condemn homosexuality.

Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, a longtime Sunday school teacher, chastised her colleagues for their insensitivity. She apologized to the grieving parents, telling them she had also lost a son to suicide.

We need more of that kind of humanity in Frankfort.

The Democratic lawmaker has served the 76th House District for 22 years, advocating for children, seniors and consumers. As chair of the House Economic Development Committee, she has ensured that Fayette County gets its share of state investment in a legislature dominated by rural interests.

The longest-serving woman in the House, Palumbo deserves another term.

Her opponent, Richard Marrs, is taking a second run at the office primary. We supported him in the Republican primary, as well as in the 2008 primary for a nonpartisan Urban County Council seat. Owner of his own advertising firm, Marrs is focused, reasoned and most concerned about the state's financial challenges. Eager to commit to public service, he could benefit from participating in more civic efforts to build a record of accomplishments and a network of supporters.

At a time of big economic challenges and opportunities, Lexington needs its Frankfort delegation to work more closely than ever with city leaders. Palumbo's clout and track record are assets.

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