An Owensboro city commissioner is launching a bid to replace State Senator Joe Bowen who is retiring at the end of the year.
Democrat Bob Glenn has filed to run for the 8th District Senate seat that represents Daviess, Hancock, and McLean counties.
Glenn, a communications professor at Owensboro Community and Technical College, says budget cuts to education is one of the reasons he’s running for the legislature.
"We continue to say higher education, workforce training, including technical education, is important, but we continue to cut it down to the point where those institutions are forced to raise tuition on working families and students," Glenn told WKU Public Radio.
Glenn, who serves as Mayor Pro Tem, is in his third term on the Owensboro City Commission.
Glenn says he's also concerned about the state's under-funded pension systems and how proposed changes will impact city and county governments. He fears reforms outlined in the governor's original pension proposal would bankrupt municipal governments due to increased retirements contributions that cities and counties would have to make. He also fears the public sector would have a harder time attractive quality employees.
"There are, just in our city, dozens of firefighters and police officers who are running to the exits now to retire because they don't want their pension benefits taken away or impacted in a negative fashion," Glenn commented.
Glenn says the state also needs new revenue sources to solve the pension crisis and properly fund education. He says that doesn't include simply raising taxes, but opening up new economic sectors for small businesses and manufacturing.
Glenn touts his experience with economic development as an Owensboro city leader, including the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, the expansion of OCTC's Advanced Technology Center, and the creation of two tax increment financing districts.
Republican State Representative Matt Castlen of Maceo has also announced a run for Senator Bowen’s seat.