The man hoping to be the first Democrat to represent Kentucky’s second U.S. House seat since 1994 says he decided to run for Congress while overseas. Ron Leach is a retired Army major and former special forces medic who lives in Meade County.
Leach told WKU Public Radio one of the biggest themes of this year’s election will be the growing income inequality seen throughout the nation in recent years. He says he’d like to see the minimum wage increased to ten dollars, ten-cents an hour.
“There’s no excuse for anyone working full-time, 40 hours a week, living in poverty,” he said. “So, beyond the minimum wage, we need to be looking at a living wage. We have way too many folks out there working full-time or working multiple jobs, yet still qualify for federal assistance.”
Leach served four combat deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, and says he decided to run for Congress while overseas in 2011, following the partisan debt ceiling debate that year that resulted in a downgrading of the country’s debt rating.
“If you recall, that was the year of the big debt ceiling standoff, the year that for the first time in history that the U.S. debt was downgraded,” Leach said. “And it was downgraded because the world was losing confidence in our ability to govern, and our ability to act like responsible adults.”
Leach says the current Congress is filled with what he called “extremism” and “ideological tantrums” that result in gridlock. He is running for the seat currently held by three-term Republican Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green.