WKYT speaks with candidates for Kentucky’s 22nd District Senate seat

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Some Kentuckians will take to the polls Tuesday to vote in one of three special elections to the Kentucky General Assembly.

One of those, the Senate Seat in Kentucky’s 22nd District, is on the line after Tom Buford’s death in July.

Democratic candidate Helen Bukulmez is an attorney and adjunct professor. She is entering the political realm for the first time.

“I’m going to frankfort not because I’m a politician. I have no interest in being a professional politician,” Bukulmez said. “I’m interested in helping and serving our people.”

Bukulmez came to the U.S. from Turkey and says Kentucky gave her the American dream.

“What i’m finding out is not many people are living their American dream and they’ve been born in this country,” Bukulmez said. “Working families farmers teachers, small businesses, police, fire.”

Bukulmez says she will be a strong advocate for the second amendment and for women. She hopes to reach across the aisle in the same way that Buford did.

“Tom Buford was a man of principle,” Bukulmez said. “He was a leader that cared about people and he worked to find solutions.”

Republican candidate Dr. Donald Douglas shares that sentiment.

“Yes, I want us all to come together,” Dr. Douglas said. “I wanna stop the backbiting that has occurred a long time between the parties.”

A lifelong kentuckian, Dr. Douglas is also pro-Second Amendment and he takes a more staunch anti-abortion stance than Bukulmez.

“My goal is not just to say things, my goal is to do them,” Dr. Douglas said. “I actually follow through. I think we got to do more than just talk the talk. I think we have to walk the walk.”

Douglas says the campaign process has been informative.

“When I become a senator, at least I will have some things in my pocket about what the people in the 22nd District are looking for,” Dr. Douglas said. I’ll have a roadmap as to where they want to go.”

That info will be critical, as the winner will only serve for one year. So, their time to effect change will be short.

“We don’t have time for people to be learning anything,” Bukulmez said. “We need to get to work for the people.”

We also spoke with independent write-in candidate Sindicat “Sid” Dunn.

Dunn has past political experience on the Burgin City Council. He says he was friends with Tom Buford and that he made a promise to Buford that he would run.

The other two special elections are state House races. In the 89th District, voters in Jackson County and parts of Laurel and Madison Counties will choose between Republican Timmy Truett will try to hold the seat for his party and Mae Suramek, who will try to capture it for Democrats.

In the 51st Distict, which is Taylor and Adair counties, Republican Michael ‘Sarge’ Pollock faces Democrat Eddie Rogers.

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