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Presidential election rests on decisions regarding economy

November 6, 2012 News

WASHINGTON (AP) – Preliminary results of an exit poll conducted for The Associated Press show that the presidential election hinges once again on the economy.

The survey of voters as they leave polling places Tuesday shows 6 in 10 voters say the economy is the top issue facing the nation, with unemployment and rising prices hitting voters hard.

About 4 in 10 say they think the nation’s economy is on the mend, but more say that things are getting worse or are bad and stagnating.

About half of voters say the previous president, George W. Bush, shoulders more of the blame for economic challenges than President Barack Obama.

Just a quarter of those surveyed in the exit poll say they are better off than four years ago.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Biden, Ryan disagree over foreign policy, abortion at Centre College debate

October 12, 2012 News

Vice President Joe Biden and Republican contender Paul Ryan met head-to-head in a domestic and foreign policy debate Thursday evening at Centre College in Danville, Ky.

Martha Raddatz, senior foreign affairs correspondent for ABC News, moderated the event. Raddatz kept a firm handle on the otherwise aggressive contest, giving allotted times for candidates’ statements and rebuttals.

On the subject of foreign policy, Ryan said the current administration’s proposed $478 billion cut to national security would be devastating to the U.S., while Biden countered, saying defense has been focusing on slimming down and specializing forces. Ryan and Biden agreed steps need to be made in order to pull forces out of Afghanistan by 2014, but their timelines differed.

Turning the debate toward domestic policy, Raddatz asked both candidates how long it would take to bring the unemployment rate below 6 percent. Biden said the key to creating more jobs is decreasing taxes for the middle class, not the wealthy. By avoiding tax raises on small businesses and keeping jobs in the U.S., Ryan said unemployment would lower to 6 percent.

In the discussion of tax reform and unemployment, Ryan said foreign dollars for the country’s $831 billion economic stimulus was a mistake.

Biden responded, saying Ryan himself asked for stimulus money as a Wisconsin congressman.

Raddatz moved to the discussion of Medicare and Social Security and Ryan said the current administration acquired $716 billion from Medicare for Obamacare.

“They got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, turning Medicare into a piggy bank for Obamacare,” Ryan said.

Finally, Raddatz asked the candidates to explain their stance on abortion. Ryan said he is strictly pro-life. Biden said he refuses to impose his values on those of different or who have no religious affiliations, despite his religious beliefs.

“I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that women can’t control their (bodies),” Biden said.

The second presidential debate will be 8 p.m. Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

Staff Report

Citizens’ guide to Murray ballot

September 27, 2012 News, State

The Calloway County general election will be Nov. 6. Below are listed the offices and the candidates as they will appear on the ballot.

Voters will also be asked in the 2012 election if they are in favor of amending a Kentucky constitutional amendment giving Kentucky citizens the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife as a means of managing and controlling wildlife. Leslie Combs (D-Pikeville) and Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg) sponsored the amendment to ensure hunting and fishing are never outlawed in Kentucky.

Written by Lexy Gross, Staff writer.

State races intensify in local districts: Ky. senate, representative seats up for grabs

September 6, 2012 News, State

While the U.S. presidential race between Republican Mitt Romney and incumbent Democrat Barack Obama comes to a head on Nov. 6, several other key state and regional elections will also be decided, making this election one of the most important in state history.

Calloway County, housed in District No. 1, has long been represented by Republican Ed Whitfield as a state U.S. representative. This year, however, he’s up against Paducah native and Marshall County resident Charles Hatchett (D), a fourth-generation real estate broker and principal auctioneer in the area.

Hatchett stands for revamping trade agreements to free and fair trade, ensuring companies using labor from Asia and Mexico will pay the equivalent to domestic minimum wage.

He also believes having a congressional council, similar to small city councils, will help balance powers in Congress, as the council will oversee the district affairs including the vote.

An attendee and speaker at the 132nd Fancy Farm Picnic this year, Hatchett channeled the past deeds of previous vice-president and west Kentucky native Alben Barkley and discussed his plans should he be elected for a U.S. Representative term.

“The servant or congressman needs to have a wise council of 10 people,” Hatchett said. “A small city mayor has a city council to help check and balance his action. We can no longer trust a congressman with 30 counties and no control on what he’s doing.”

In response, current Congressman Whitfield has taken a strong stance on jobs and the economy, west Kentucky’s importance in the energy sector, the National Healthcare Plan and the rising national debt.

“One of the best ways to spur economic growth and create new jobs is by investing in new energy technologies,” Whitfield said. “Kentucky has long been an energy leader, and I have worked to enact policies which utilize resources we have right in our own backyard, including coal, while lowering costs for consumers.”

Republican Ken Winters, a state senator for District No. 1 since 2005, will not be running for re-election this year.

New candidate Carroll Hubbard ran unopposed in the May 22 primary election and garnered the Democratic nod, while current Trigg County Judge-Executive Stan Humphries is the Republican nominee for next year’s vacant seat.

Long focused on improvements in education for the area, Winters told The Murray State News in February of his intentions to step down from position, citing family health as a key reason for his resignation.

“Every young person we have in Kentucky deserves the best experience in education we can provide for them,” Winters said. “Our state depends on young people coming through the system right now.”

A representative for the area from 1975-93, Hubbard served two years in prison after pleading guilty to violations of campaign finance laws, but has been running for re-election to the Kentucky Senate since 2006, losing by only 56 votes in his return bid to the seat.

Hubbard is a native of Murray and graduated from Georgetown College in 1959 and the Louis D. Bradies University of Louisville School of Law in 1962.

In 2006, Stan Humphries became the first Republican Judge-Executive in several decades, ending nearly 80 years of Democratic control of the county seat. A proponent of agriculture and small business, Humphries is making his first attempt at running for the General Assembly.

Both Hubbard and Humphries were also both in attendance at this year’s Fancy Farm Picnic.

“Calloway, Lyon and Trigg Counties will receive my full attention as to their needs and goals,” Hubbard said. “Fortunately, their unemployment rates are lower than (Fulton and Graves counties).”

Hubbard also discussed the vacating of plants such as Johnson Controls in Cadiz, Ky., and General Tire in Mayfield, Ky., as well as the lack of industry in Carlisle County and Hickman County.

“I know where the problems are and I know how to fix them,” Humphries said. “I’ve lived in Western Kentucky all my life, and I’m from Trigg County and proud of it.”

Story by Edward Marlowe, Staff writer.

Ag school alumnus runs for state house

February 9, 2012 News

Alumnus Richard Heath is running for the state house. Heath visited the campus Wednesday and discussed his Murray State memories. || Allie Douglass/The News

Haley Russell
Assistant News Editor

Richard Heath, Murray State alumnus, has entered the race for 2nd District State Representative after current Mayfield, Ky., Democrat Rep. Fred Nesler announced his retirement in December.

Heath was raised on a farm in Graves County, Ky., and eventually bought it from his father when he was 19 years old.

In 1979, he put himself through college at Murray State while continuing to own and run the farm. After graduating college with a teaching degree, Heath taught one year of school in Farmersville, Tenn.

He then entered the business world, and took a full time job at the Graves County Co-op in Mayfield and sold this farm to the conservation reserve. … Continue Reading

Winters retires from state Senate seat

February 9, 2012 News

Olivia Medovich
Staff writer

Sen. Ken Winters announced Jan. 30 he would not be seeking re-election of his senate seat this term.

Winters has represented the 1st senatorial district in west Kentucky, which includes Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Lyon and Trigg counties, for the last 8 years.

Winters said he decided not to run again because of health concerns with his wife, Shirley Winters.

“It’s been a little over a year ago, my wife had major back surgery,” he said.

He said when he initially made the decision to run for senator, he and his wife were in relatively good health. … Continue Reading

Business owner to run for office

January 19, 2012 News

Chris Wilcox
Staff writer

Local Murray resident and businessman Hal Kemp, Democrat, announced he will be seeking election for Kentucky’s 5th District House seat in the Kentucky General Assembly.

Melvin Henley, who currently occupies the seat, announced on Dec. 19 2011 he is retiring.

Henley declined to comment for this report.

Henley’s career includes serving as the mayor of the City of Murray from 1978 to 1982, chemistry professor and chair of the chemistry department from 1987 to 1992 and four terms as Kentucky’s 5th District House representative.

Henley has been a part of several committees including economic development, energy and tourism, transportation and a subcommittee of appropriations and revenue for budget review of post-secondary education. … Continue Reading

Senator visits Murray

January 19, 2012 News

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul answers questions from attendees at a town hall style meeting Jan. 11. || Photos by Austin Ramsey/The News

Austin Ramsey
News Editor

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul formally helped kick off U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield’s campaign for re-election with a meet-and-greet and town hall style meeting with voters in Murray Jan. 11.

The two Republicans addressed a packed Murray Room in the CFSB Center first to introduce Whitfield’s bid for re-election in the morning, and then later with the town hall meeting featuring only Paul.

Whitfield, a Hopkinsville, Ky., native who was elected to Congress in 1994, has served the 1st Congressional District for eight terms. His visit to Murray in the heart of his district marks the start of a tour through western Kentucky.

In a short address, Whitfield called on his moderate base for a strong re-election. He said the country’s financial stability was of the utmost priority in his mind and that job creation would take precedence in the two-year term seat.

“Our first priority must be to put Americans back to work,” he said. … Continue Reading

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