Voters should return Ruth Ann Palumbo to represent the 76th House District, which she has served since 1992.
Her opponent, Richard Marrs, is a sincere, committed man but rarely moves beyond standard Republican talking points, railing against the supposed war on coal, reproductive rights and the Affordable Care Act, which has made coverage possible for half a million Kentuckians through Kynect.
Palumbo brings a thoughtful approach to her work in Frankfort. She is more interested in finding common ground to pass important legislation than grandstanding to make political points
Her focus as a legislator has been on issues affecting women, children and families. Among those, of course, is health care and Palumbo was unhesitating in her support of Kynect in a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters.
"Kentucky Kynect is working," she said and then went on to provide solid statistics about Kentuckians who have gained health care coverage under it, both through expanded Medicaid and in the the private market.
The two are at odds on a number of other issues important to the physical and fiscal health of Kentucians.
They include a statewide smoking ban and interest caps on payday lenders, both of which Palumbo supports and Marrs opposes. Palumbo also supports the right of local communities to pass a sales tax for specific projects while Marrs opposes it, based on a general disdain for taxes.
Throughout the debate, and in other venues, it was clear that Palumbo is informed by her long experience as a legislator. She understands that the foundation for long-term prosperity in Kentucky is a healthy, educated workforce.
Marrs, on the other hand, supports the notion that lower taxes and lower wages — he supports so-called right-to-work legislation to undercut unions — are the path to prosperity.
Palumbo has earned another term in the House.
The unendorsed candidate may submit a 250-word response by noon Friday.