Election 2016: On the Issues

Story by Ashley Traylor, Staff writer, and Lindsey Coleman, Staff writer



Graphic by Austin Gordon/TheNews

Hillary Clinton (D)


  • Ensure the wealthiest Americans are not paying lower taxes than the middle class
  • Impose a fair share surcharge on the upper class
  • Close Wall Street loopholes
  • Cut taxes for small business owners
  • Provide tax relief for child care, health care and college or university costs


  • Supports the Affordable Care Act and will expand health care to more Americans
  • Decrease co-pays and deductibles
  • Lower prices for prescription drugs and protect against drug price increases
  • Expand health care no matter immigration status
  • Expand health care for women to include preventative care, contraception and abortion
  • Increase funding for community health centers and increase the size of the National Health Service Corporation


  • Strengthen background checks for those purchasing weapons
  • Revoke gun licenses for those who break the law
  • Close gun loopholes


  • Implement a 100-days jobs plan focused around infrastructure and clean energy
  • Ensure college is debt free
  • Raise the minimum wage and make sure profits are shared with employees
  • Make big businesses and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes by closing interest loopholes and a surcharge on the wealthy
  • Fight for equal pay between men and women and provide reductions to child care


  • According to the Wall Street Journal, Clinton supports Roe vs. Wade – the court case that established a right to abortion, and she opposes a ban on abortion after 20 weeks


  • Fight for rights of immigrants
  • Create a plan to help immigrants gain citizenship, within first 100 days of presidency
  • End three and 10-year bars – the policy that states immigrants who overstay their period in the United States and depart are not allowed to reenter the United States for three years
  • End family detention for parents and children
  • Seek to decrease naturalization costs and increase access to language and educational programs

Donald Trump (R)


  • Allow families to deduct child care from taxes
  • Turn the current seven tax bracket to a three tax bracket
  • Increase the standard deduction for joint filers to $30,000
  • Repeal the death tax
  • Lower business tax to 15 percent


  • According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump supports a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.


  • Enforce the second amendment right to bear arms
  • Make the right to carry legal in all states


  • Establish new immigration laws to ensure Americans are working in the job force
  • Build a wall on Mexican border
  • Move illegal immigrants out of the country on the first day of his presidency
  • Triple the number of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials
  • Implement entry-exit visa tracking system
  • Trump addressed immigration in Phoenix, and he said, “Immigration reform should mean something else entirely: it should mean improvements to our laws and policies to make life better for American citizens.”


  • Withdraw United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership to increase American exports
  • He said he will appoint the smartest trade negotiators to fight for American workers
  • Have the Secretary of Commerce point out every violation of trade agreements a foreign country is using to harm American workers
  • Renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement
  • Instruct the Secretary of the Treasury to label China as a currency manipulator
  • Bring trade cases against China to prohibit their unfair subsidy behavior
  • Force China to stop illegal activity, like stealing American trade secrets, by using his presidential power


  • Repeal the Affordable Care Act
  • Modify the law that so individuals can purchase any health care plan, as long as it complies with the state
  • Deduct health insurance premiums from taxes
  • Create a tax-free Health Savings Accounts to allow individuals to save for future medical problems
  • Make health care prices more available to consumers
  • Give the state governments the power to regulate Medicaid
  • Make it easier for drug providers to enter the free markets


Jim Gray (D)

   Barren County native, Jim Gray plans to focus on strengthening middle class families and increasing business opportunities in Kentucky.

   To increase jobs, he wants to build a modern infrastructure and make the state a place for advanced manufacturing.

   Gray supports strengthening the military, raising the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour and paying equal salaries for equal work.

   To help college students with college loans, he plans to enact a bill that will offer two years of free community college, the refinancing of student loans, and Pell Grant revisions so the grants keep up with inflation rates.

   He served as the president and CEO of Gray Construction and is now chairman of the Board. In 2010, Gray was elected mayor of Lexington, which made him the first openly gay mayor of the city.

Rand Paul (R)

   Incumbent Dr. Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist who owned his own practice and performed eye surgery for 18 years, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010.

   Paul advocates for the sanctity of life, the advancement of energy security, budget cuts for programs that he says can be run better at a state or local level, lower taxes, the support of small businesses and the protection of gun rights.

   To support small businesses, he believes in reducing regulations and making the government “get out of the way.”

   In the wake of threats to national security Paul said, “I believe that defending this country is the primary and most important constitutional function of our federal government.”


Samuel Gaskins (D)

   Gaskins has experience as a farmer and in the U.S. Marine Corps  and later the U.S. Army, with which he fought in Iraq.

   He strongly opposes building a wall to shut out immigrants. He said he gained an appreciation for every race and religion while serving in the U.S. Army.

   If elected, he hopes to fortify the infrastructure in Kentucky’s first district. Some of the infrastructure issues include crumbling roads and bridges and overwhelmed wastewater systems.

Other concerns for Gaskins include advocating for equal pay, reforming education by lowering the cost of education and implementing programs that address the needs of veterans.

James Comer (R)

   Comer purchased his first farm at the age of 21 and since has been focused on improving Kentucky’s agriculture. Now he hopes to bring that same zeal to Congress.

   In 2000, Comer was elected state representative, and in 2011 was elected Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture. Comer cares about middle class families, farmers and small business owners.

   As U.S. representative, he hopes to create new opportunities for farmers, limit government involvement, advocate for investing in national defense and lower the national debt.

   Comer supports the second amendment, traditional marriage and the pro-life movement.


David Ramey (D)

Ramey’s roots in this region started with studying journalism and political science at Murray State. He was the sports editor of The Murray State News and president of the Murray State Young Democrats.

   He has served on the Murray City Council, Murray Planning Commission and the Purchase Public Service Commission.

   Based on his education and family values, he wants to ensure a quality education and good jobs for future students.

   He supports the preservation of lakes and wildlife in western Kentucky.

Kenny Imes (R)

Imes is a land developer, farmer, licensed funeral director and the former Deputy Secretary and Commissioner of the Natural Resources Cabinet. He has served six terms as Kentucky state representative in the Fifth District.

   “I have invested in Kentucky all my life. Now I want to invest for Kentucky and our future,” Imes said on his website.

   With emphasis on integrity, experience and common sense, he hopes to defend the second amendment and the unborn, keep taxes low and vote against regulations that hurt local businesses.