Kentucky 2nd Congressional District Democratic Candidates Discuss Priorities

May 17, 2018

2nd Congressional District Democratic Candidates Brian Pedigo, Rane Sessions, Hank Linderman, and Grant Short.

Kentucky’s 2nd Congressional District seat has been held by Republicans for the past 24 years. Four Democrats are running for the chance to unseat incumbent Republican Brett Guthrie. One of the Democrats hoping to win Tuesday’s primary is Rane Sessions of Breckinridge County.

Sessions said she decided to run for the seat because she doesn’t believe incumbent Republican Brett Guthrie represents her or her community. She works in a veterinarian office and said she’s seen first hand how hard it is to attract and keep people in that profession in rural Kentucky.

“Students are coming out of vet school with such high student loan debt that they can’t really afford to work in a rural practice and this is a rural community so they need vets to treat their animals,” she told WKU Public Radio.

Sessions said she’d also like to see universal Medicare. She says the people in her community working full time can’t afford health insurance. Fellow Democratic candidate Hank Linderman lives in Grayson County and cited his experience as a musician as something that will help him bridge the gap between Democrats and Republicans. Linderman said he’d like to see a focus on more treatment facilities for addicts and support for their families.

“We need to decriminalize addiction, it’s not enough to simply lock people up,” he said. “We’ve already locked up to many people in this country. We’re the number one jailer in the world.”

Another one of the Democrats hoping to win Tuesday’s primary is Glasgow native Brian Pedigo. He wants to help farmers by removing federal restrictions on industrial hemp. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a bill last month that would remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act’s definition of marijuana. Pedigo said he’s frustrated by the lack of Congressional action so far.

“He could push something through if he really wanted to. We saw them jam through their tax cut plan and we’ve seen them jam through other things,” he told WKU Public Radio. “So if he really wants to get something done he can.”

Pedigo said he also wants to help people have greater access to healthcare and stop the use of social security funds for anything other than social security.

The other Democratic candidate is Grant Short of Owensboro. He did not return multiple requests for comment from WKU Public Radio. Republican incumbent Brett Guthrie is running unopposed in next week’s primary. He’s held the 2nd Congressional District House seat since 2009.