WKYT - Lexington - Headlines

Senator switch up bothers voters

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

Governor Steve Beshear approved the switch up last week, that will send Senator Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, to a district in Northeastern Kentucky, and have Senator Dorsey Ridley, D-Henderson, from Western Kentucky add Fayette County to his list of responsibilities.

A move, neither seemed to be in support of. They were joined by a group of voters in Downtown Lexington Sunday afternoon, who chimed in with chants of, "Frankfort's lost its mind, we need Kathy Stein."

"A majority of citizens in a district will vote and elect a senator, and due to partisan politics, that person is basically, effectively shut out of office," said one protester.

"I cannot believe my Governor did not veto this," added Deborah Hensley, another protester.

"That is the most blatant disregard of democracy," Sen. Stein said about the switch up to the crowd gathered outside the Fayette County Courthouse.

Sen. Ridley expressed he is eager to serve the people of Lexington/Fayette County, even if he's not familiar with them.

"I don't profess to be knowledgeable about all of you people," said Sen. Dorsey Ridley, adding, "but by the stroke of a pen, we were moved and that's just the law of Kentucky."

These Lexington voters aren't the only ones upset by the move. The newly appointed senator says his district shares the same feelings.

"I have a group, like you, who have been disenfranchised, just like you," said Sen. Ridley from the podium.

While the vote says Stein is out, she says she's looking to fight her way back in to Lexington.

"I suspect there will be legal action," answered Sen. Stein, "this is unprecedented in Kentucky."

If that doesn't work, "In 2014, I will run again," expressed Sen. Stein.

Sen. Stein says she will not qualify to run in her new district for re-election because she will not have met the requirement of living in her district for a year prior to the vote.

For now, the two senators say they will work closely together to better serve the Fayette County voters. Sen. Stein assured the crowd that they have a good representative and that this switch up does not mean they are being written off.


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