Jenean Hampton

Jenean Hampton

The Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame will announce the 2015 class of inductees Wednesday. 

Among them is Kentucky’s Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.  Jenean Hampton of Bowling Green joined the Air Force after graduating from high school in Detroit.

"I was one of the only people in my class who did not to go to work for one of the big three automakers," Hampton told WKU Public Radio.  "I wanted to do something more important than make cars so I joined the Air Force instead as a computer systems officer."

Hampton spent seven years in the Air Force, which included a deployment to Desert Storm. 

She will join 24 other veterans in a formal induction ceremony in Frankfort in September. 

Hampton is on a ticket headed by GOP gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin.  They will face Democratic nominee Jack Conway and his running mate Sannie Overly in the November election.

Jenean Hampton

Veteran State Representative Jody Richards of Bowling Green is facing his first Tea Party challenger in the November election. Jenean Hampton is taking on the longest continuously serving state representative in Kentucky history. 

"There was much prayer involved. This wasn't my plan," said Hampton in an interview with WKU Public Radio. "Sometimes you're screaming at the TV, you see things that need to be improved, and you're screaming that someone needs do something, well sometimes that someone is you."

Hampton serves as chair of the Bowling Green-Southern Kentucky Tea Party. The 55-year-old Republican is an Air Force veteran and businesswoman who wants to use her private sector experience to spur economic development in the commonwealth.

In her first run at public office, Hampton is taking on political heavyweight Jody Richards who was first elected to the legislature in 1975 and served as House Speaker from 1995 to 2009. Over that time, he's become the recipient of several plum committee assignments, including Appropriations and Revenue.  Richards told WKU Public Radio that his influence in Frankfort could not be matched by a newcomer.

"No new person would have my committee lineup nor would they have the connections I do," he suggested. "I pride myself  in working well with both sides of the aisle."