The two women vying for a vacant seat in the Kentucky House both agree jobs are the foremost issue facing the 7th District that includes Union and portions of Henderson and Daviess counties. How to create them is one way they differ from each other.
Republican Suzanne Miles of Owensboro would vote for a right-to-work bill in the General Assembly. Under right-to-work laws, employer cannot make the payment of union dues a condition of employment. Miles believes having the law in Kentucky would remove barriers to job creation.
“I don’t feel like people should have to pay to work," remarks Miles. "Our states north and south of us, Indiana and Tennessee, both are right to work states. I do know that it makes a difference in those states from people that travel with their work.”
Miles has the endorsement of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Her Democratic opponent Kim Humphrey of Morganfield is endorsed by the state AFL-CIO. Humphrey is against Kentucky becoming a right-to-work state.
“What right-to-work takes away is the ability for wage earners to make a good living and for those folks to be able to organize if they wish to do that," says Humphrey.
If elected state representative, both Miles and Humphrey say they would work to create jobs and protect existing jobs in western Kentucky's coal industry.
Both women are making their first political run. The 43-year-old Miles is the Owensboro field representative for 2nd District Congressman Brett Guthrie. Humphrey, 53, is a former banker and economic development official who now works for Riverview Coal in Union County.
The winner of Tuesday's special election will fill the seat of former House member John Arnold who resigned in September amid sexual harassment allegations.