Candidate Profiles For The 29th District State Senate Seat

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Four years ago, only 24 votes separated the two candidates for the 29th District State Senate seat. Johnny Ray Turner beat Eric Shane Hamilton by that slim margin. Now the same two candidates are battling each other again to represent Breathitt, Floyd, Letcher, and Knott Counties. Both candidates say this is a new year and a new race and aren't thinking about the election four years ago. There are no Republicans running, so the winner of this Democrat primary will be the state senator.

Incumbent State Senator Johnny Ray Turner is in his eighth year representing Floyd, Breathitt, Knott, and Letcher Counties and wants to continue.

"I enjoy representing the people of Eastern Kentucky," Turner said.

But challenger Eric Shane Hamilton believes it is time for a change and wants a turn.

"I've always had a passion to help people," Hamilton said.

Both men have lived here their whole lives. Turner taught school and coached for 28 years. Hamilton is businessman, working in restaurants, and now real estate. He thinks his business background will help in the legislature and the budget.

"You raise your revenues up and you raise your expenses up, so you're at the same spot again, so I think we need to take a different look at government and that's through a business aspect," Hamilton said.

Turner is on several committees including leadership and education. He believes his experience is what the region needs.

"I think it puts me in a position to make a difference for projects and things, to be able to bring things home to Eastern Kentucky," Turner said.

Both men, if elected, want the same projects. They both want safe drinking water and sewer connections for every home. They want to improve the roads, and neither wants casino gambling in Eastern Kentucky, but want voters to decide, but first, they're asking voters to choose them.

"I'm the person that will work with everybody and get everybody their fair share," Hamilton said.

"I believe that I can make a difference in the quality of life for the people of Eastern Kentucky," Turner said.

Voters still have some time to decide. Election Day is May 20th.

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  • by James Meade Location: Prestonsburg on May 24, 2008 at 07:58 AM
  • by POTTER Location: BANNER on May 5, 2008 at 04:58 PM
    Well Mr. Meade I will have to give you credit for being persistent.You have definitely been mislead youre whole life.But since you obviously no nothing of politics ,other than what you read on myspace and some useless websites, you should try reading the papers and watching the news everyonce in a while. JRT is about a good a senator as my dog could be. He has no ethics ,cares only for himself, and could careless about you. If you want to campaign for him maybe you should come up with some facts about JRT, like ask him what size ankle braclet he wore to the general assembly last year, may want to ask if he matched his suits to it so they wouldnt clash.He is without a doubt the worst politician i have ever seen.
  • by James Meade Location: Prestonsburg,Ky on May 5, 2008 at 10:36 AM
    To Benny Raye Baileys Followers: I'm sure Mr Bailey has indoctrinated his followers to also believe that Barrack Obama should be the candinate you should support. The Facts so you know it 1, Mr Obama will not salute the American Flag 2. Mr Obama does not have any Patriotic Views or feelings for any American Veteran (This is a shame I have a Grandfather and 4 Uncles that faught to keep the country free in WWII) 3. Obama doesn't support a tax relief for the American people in the form of suspending the Gas Tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
  • by Jim Location: Drift on May 4, 2008 at 11:34 AM
    Jame Mead. Incompetence is more akin to spelling capabilities. If I was a betting man, I would put a $100 that Mr. Turner taught you how to spell "recongizing" "incompatance" He might also have taught you ethics since you classify as a dignified leader, and a class act a person who committed a felony vote fraud offense (although he was charged with a felony, he convinced the federal prosecuter to allow him to plead down to a misdemenor). East KY needs leadership that they can be proud of and that doesnt embaress and perpetuate the negative stereotypes of applachia such as buying votes and allowing cocaine dealers to be involved with your campaign.
  • by Jame Meade Location: Prestonsburg,ky on May 3, 2008 at 11:44 AM
    Ronnie Meades son.....Married to Sharon Little unfortuanatly Meade, but that was not by my choice. Sharon is the daughter of Mary Hall a sister to Viola Bailey i guess i need to help you with your family tree. Incompatance another reason not to put Shane Hamilton in office....either that or ur suffering from alzhimers diease. Guess u have a had time recongnizeing ur own family so i thought i would take the time to help explain it to you in simple english or do u speak spanish
  • by James Location: Drift on May 3, 2008 at 10:35 AM
    Maybe if Johhny Ray didnt have his own self interests in front of his constitutents he would be able to fund more sewer/water and road projects. Mr. Turner has voted twice to increase his pay. ALthough he used to be a school teacher, he has apparently forgot his former peers and voted himself a greater pay rise than public school teachers TWICE.
  • by carol Location: Prestonsburg on May 3, 2008 at 10:28 AM
    Who type that for you james.... or did you simply cut and paste. Look at the lives of each candidate! I too, feel sorry for Johnny Ray , for the mess he has gotten himself and his family into…BUT…. Not to the point that I want to sacrifice my children’s and grandchildren’s future. We are experiencing very difficult times in this country with war and the economy the way it is. Groceries are outrageous AND I should not have to mentions gas prices. I'm sorry James but this time my family is more important than giving Johnny Ray a job. It tunes my stomach to think anyone would feel any different.
  • by James Meade Location: Prestonsburg, ky on May 3, 2008 at 06:42 AM
    Lets ask our the people we support where they stand on important issues faceing out state LETS HAVE A OLE FASHIONED DEBATE AND TO MAKE IT FAIR LETS NOT ONLY TELEVISE IT BUT ALSO LETS OPEN THE DEBATE TO QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC 1. I think we should support gambling in the state and keep out money here. 2. More funding for education and cutting it. 3. Lets give the teachers more responsibilites to there student and take back out communities....PUT THE PADDLE BACK IN THE CLASSROOM 4. Where do the canadates stand as far a making abortion legal in ky or illegal. Lets put the test to them see what there response is 5. what are they going to do to bring more money to our region and how r they going to help produce more jobs. more good paying jobs not 8 or 9 dollars a hour just a few questions. i know shane is for cheap labor just ask Bennys he for makeing illegals legal citizen no questions asked. I think instead of there conservative democrats.
  • by Potter Location: banner on May 2, 2008 at 08:32 PM
    I am guessing that who ever this james meade person is, that he has no understanding at all of what a pure fool he is amking himself out to be. We all knnow that JRT cant win this election, he has no Ross Harris to "But it for him" this time.The only good thing i have seen come from JRT since he has been in office is the sportsplex in Knott co.As for city water /sewer if the local county governmants dont write for grants and have proposals done there is nothing JRT can do for them.So I ask you this Mr. Meade what has Johnny Ray done? I also am a nephew to Benny Ray, been in this family nearly 30 years and have never heard of you.
  • by Randy Location: Knott Co on May 2, 2008 at 08:03 PM
    Forner Senator Bailey was a wonderful advocate for East KY. "He could play the budget like a musical instrument-making sure he brought projects home to the mountains..." Louisville Courier-Journal
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