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Kentucky Newsmakers 7/4: Senate candidate Ruth Gao; Ky. Chamber of Commerce CEO Ashli Watts

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 3:22 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 2, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - On the latest episode of Kentucky Newsmakers, WKYT’s Bill Bryant talks with the CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Ashli Watts and U.S. Senate candidate Ruth Gao.

First on this week’s Newsmakers, we’ll give an update on how Kentucky’s economy is going as businesses statewide try to come back from the pandemic and deal with tough worker shortages. We’ll hear from the state’s largest business group, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Kentuckians are now eligible for a $1,500 bonus from the state for going back to work, which is proving to be controversial. And the calls continue from many business leaders for Governor Beshear to end the $300 in extra weekly federal unemployment benefits.

Also, the opioid crisis appears to have deepened during the pandemic and the chamber is advising businesses to be ready to address substance abuse. Ashli Watts, the CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the first woman to head up the important organization joins us.

It looks like Kentucky could have a live election year in 2022. Two Democrats have now announced plans to run for their party’s nomination in hopes of denying Republican Senator Rand Paul a third term in Washington.

This week, Ruth Gao and Charles Booker announced campaigns for the Democratic nomination.

“I’m going to cause some good trouble, I’m going to speak up for you, I’m going to represent the people of Kentucky, from the hood to the holler and everywhere in between,” Booker said.

But Booker will have to win a primary first and there’s at least one other candidate. Gao got in the race this week, and says she wants to be the first millennial woman elected to the Senate.

Gao joins us on Kentucky Newsmakers.

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