Story by Matthew Parks, Staff writer
Murray State College Democrats hosted their 4th annual fall banquet Oct. 13.
U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville; David Ramey, 5th District candidate for Kentucky’s House of Representatives; and state Rep. Jeff Taylor, D-Hopkinsville, were among those in attendance.
Yarmuth said the goals of the Democratic Party are above all to help people, and this year’s Republican candidates stand in direct opposition of that goal.
He said the Senate and House elections this year are important because he believes a Republican-controlled House would be disastrous in tandem with Bevin’s gubernatorial practices.
“Nothing is as important as maintaining control of the House of Representatives,” Yarmuth said. “We face the prospect of losing the last Democratically-controlled body going South until you get to Puerto Rico.”
Ramey, who is also a former president of the Murray State College Democrats and chairman of the Calloway County Democratic Party, spoke at the banquet. He said he believes Bevin’s educational legislation practices are devastating for Kentucky’s educational welfare.
“When we take away higher education dollars in rural Kentucky, that hurts Louisville,” Ramey said. “That hurts eastern Kentucky. That hurts western Kentucky. That hurts [all of] Kentucky.”
He said, as a Murray State alumnus, it hurts him to see the university suffer because of Bevin’s budget cuts, and he said he hopes to fight against Bevin’s education rulings by winning his House race and unifying the state of Kentucky – making a divided state realize that they are one body.
“The important thing to remember is that we are all Kentuckians,” Ramey said. “What happens in the races in November will affect all of us, no matter where in the state we reside.”
Ramey said he believes students will have some of the most important sway in the upcoming elections.
“Let me challenge you young people,” Ramey said. “You can make a difference, regardless of what happens this fall. Stay involved. Stay engaged in the process.”
Taylor spoke about his beliefs in regards to the current state of affairs in Kentucky’s political climate.
He said he believes the current political ticket is disgraceful to America’s political system, referencing the recent scandal with Donald Trump’s “locker room” talk in which the presidential candidate was recorded making sexual comments about women.
“Folks, I’m an ex-athlete,” Taylor said. “We never talked that way in any locker room.”
He said he believes Bevin is destroying Kentucky’s capacity for education by causing mass removal of education programs due to loss of funding.
“That’s the beauty of the Democratic Party,” Ramey said. “We’re the party that wants to give opportunities to people.”
All of the speakers encouraged Murray State students to vote on Nov. 8 and to not lose sight of the importance of the political process.