92nd District Democratic Primary expected to be heated and competitive
Ancel Smith first won the 92nd District’s State Representative seat in 2003. Each election he has had since then, have been extremely spirited and this year expects to be no different.
In the 2008 primary, Rep. Smith held off an impressive campaign from Magoffin County resident John Sizemore, and Hindman resident Greg Stacy, as every candidate received over 3,000 votes in the three man race.
In Magoffin County, Rep. Smith ran an almost out of sight second place as John Sizemore defeated him by over a five to one margin. Much of that is obviously attributed to Mr. Sizemore’s strong political influence in Magoffin County coupled with a reported dust up Rep. Smith had with religious leaders in Magoffin County over some legislation that dealt with social issues.
This election will see another clash for the 92nd District seat as there will be a heads up battle between Rep. Smith and Knott County businessman, John Short. Short currently serves as a magistrate on the Knott County Fiscal Court. On Tuesday, The Salyersville Independent, spoke to both candidates about their plans for Magoffin County.
John Short, who is a 1986 graduate of Alice Lloyd College with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and owns his own business (John’s Gun and Pawn), says this election is about who will go to Frankfort fighting for the best interest of the 92nd District. “The 92nd District is the only legislative district in the state that doesn’t have a hospital, large retailer (i.e. Wal-Mart, Lowes, etc.), or a major manufacturer with 500+ jobs. The 92nd District has been singled out, to be left out!”
Short said he has a plan to improve the overall quality of life in Magoffin County and the 92nd District. “It all starts with infrastructure. If you do not have water and sewer infrastructure, you cannot have true economic development.” Short continued, “It is my plan to fight to keep our coal severance dollars so we can work with our city and county governments and improve infrastructure needs so we can provide them with the tools to attract industry and job development.”
Short also touched on how important coal severance dollars were for volunteer fire departments, rescue squads and their communities. “Our volunteer fire departments need their funding not only for the safety and endless services they provide, but also so they can put things in place to improve their ISO rating. This in turn lowers home insurance rates in these communities and puts money back into our taxpayers’ pockets.”
Rep. Smith contends he has fought for Magoffin County’s share. “If you go back and look at the record, I think you’ll find I’ve done pretty good for Magoffin County. You only have X amount of dollars to work with but I’ve tried to do all I could for the people of Magoffin County.”
Smith contends he went to bat for the people of Magoffin County during the budget session that is ongoing at this time in Frankfort and also understand the importance of water and sewer infrastructure. “The infrastructure is something we need to fund. That’s vital to Magoffin County because if we don’t keep our infrastructure up to date, then everything else will fall behind.” Smith continued, “I asked for $528,000 for the Salyersville Water Plant improvement as well as $568,750 for the Salyersville sewer project.” Smith did note that these were amounts he has asked for but is unsure of what will be included in the final version of the budget that will go to the Governor to sign. Smith also mentioned several other projects he is working on that he says will benefit Magoffin County.
One thing is for sure, election season is beginning to heat up in Magoffin County. The 92nd District’s State Representative race will be closely watched and it appears Magoffin County will play a major role in who will be representing the 92nd District. With that in mind, Short reminded The Salyersville Independent that, “Magoffin County and the 92nd District deserves a state representative that will serve them 365 days a year. Not just two months every other year when the next election rolls around.” Ladies and Gentlemen, get your sun screen, cause things are heating up!