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Kentucky House of Representatives, District 1

Staff report

Michael Murphy (D)

1. Tell us about you (including but not limited to personal, educational, and professional information):

I am a family man happily married to Brenda for 37 years, the father of three adult children and a native West Kentuckian. I was educated in public schools before enrolling at Centre College. After graduation I enlisted in the Air Force and served for four years as a C-130 navigator at Little Rock AFB. In 1974, while on temporary duty to Utapao AB, Thailand, I, as a part of a flight crew, made 75 high altitude air drops to American allies in Cambodia earning 120 combat support flying hours and the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. Upon my discharge I enrolled in law school at the University of Louisville, graduating in 1980.

After law school I returned home and opened a small town law practice. In 1986 I was appointed by the circuit court to serve as the Friend of the Court, a position I held for 16 years. In 2002 I went to work in the courthouse as an assistant county attorney dealing with criminal and juvenile cases and high profile civil matters. I became the McCracken county attorney in 2009 and served in that capacity until my retirement January 1, 2015.

2. What makes you the best qualified candidate?

I have spent my entire working life in the service of the citizens of my country and my community. I have been fortunate, as a member of the military, to have been part of teams that accomplished great things. As an attorney, I have met with individual citizens over a 35 year legal career, listening to their concerns, offering solutions to very real problems and fighting for the vindication of their just rights. Doing the right things and getting the right results are a habit with me.

I have a vision of what District 1 can become and a plan as to how we can get there. The key to doing a good job is wanting to do a good job and then doing the hard work required to accomplish the tasks at hand. Hard work and detailed preparation make a person lucky. I am a dedicated professional, determined to make a difference in the lives of the citizens of the First District.

3. What issue will be your first priority if you are elected?

The citizens of the First District have been neglected by the Frankfort establishment for far too long. Outside of McCracken County the First District's roadways are crumbling remnants from the 1960s, wholly inadequate for either 21st commerce or modern agricultural needs. The district can no longer sit back and hope for a better day and better treatment from Frankfort. Time is running out on far West Kentucky. Its needs are immediate.

My first priority is to become the respected voice of the district by putting in the time and hard work required to earn the respect of each and every member of the Kentucky House.

It is then, and only then, that an individual member can build the coalitions necessary to deliver the services and dollars required to rebuild the First District. Decades of population loss, industrial contraction and crumbling infrastructure must be stabilized and then reversed if the decline of the west Kentucky rural communities is to be halted.

4. What long-term issues concern you the most?

Without question the most pressing issue for Kentucky is solving the pension crisis, a $34 billion bipartisan embarrassment. The solution to this problem will dominate the budgetary process for a generation, and in doing so will affect the balance of the budget for a very long time.

Since education dollars are a large portion of the budget, the temptation will be to find cuts there. But as our country and Commonwealth struggle to deal with the changing global economic realities, we must aggressively expand the educational opportunities for our citizens so we can pursue the economic opportunities the 21st century will provide. Adult education, workforce training and re-training, apprenticeships and internships, vocational and technical training must be pursued in partnership with business and labor organizations to supplement our primary and secondary education system. We will need innovation and new ideas but at the same time we must be vigilant and conservative in our spending habits. We will not build a high wage economy with a low skilled workforce. We must invest wisely in our children's future and we need to get it right the first time.

Steven Rudy (R)

1. Tell us about you (including but not limited to personal, educational, and professional information):

I am a resident of McCracken County and a native of Ballard County. The 1st House District is a special place to me, as I know it is to all those who live in it as well. I have been fortunate to serve as state representative since 2005, and have been an advocate for West Kentucky to ensure Frankfort does not forget about us. I am a graduate of Ballard Memorial High School and Murray State University, with a degree in agriculture. I work in my family business, Rudys Farm Center, located in Kevil. My wife, Jessica, and I are the proud parents of Maddie, a first grader at Lone Oak Elementary, and members of Concord United Methodist Church.

2. What makes you the best qualified candidate?

I am confident my core beliefs and values are in line with the vast majority of the 1st House District. I am a conservative, both fiscally and socially. I believe our government should be transparent with spending and reduce waste wherever possible. I am also a staunch supporter of pro-life efforts and take my oath to the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, very seriously and will oppose any efforts to infringe upon our rights.

Additionally, I believe my experience as state representative for the past 12 years makes me the best qualified candidate. I have developed the relationships and earned the seniority necessary to best advocate for West Kentucky.

3. What issue will be your first priority if you are elected?

Kentucky drastically needs to overhaul our tax code. The current code was developed for the 20th Century and needs to be brought into line with the economy in which we live today. We need to close loopholes to ensure that everyone pays their fair share and be able to reduce the tax burden that the middle class faces. We also can use this restructured tax code to better compete with neighboring states when looking to recruit new and expand current businesses. Years of kicking the can down the road on this issue has left us in a precarious situation where we are rapidly falling behind the states which have not ignored their tax codes.

4. What long-term issues concern you the most?

The long-term issue that causes me the most concern for West Kentucky is our declining population. As the state continues to grow, West Kentucky has lost population at an alarming rate. This naturally reduces our clout within state government.

I want to ensure that quality jobs exist in our region so that our next generations do not feel pressure to move to other locations. I want to make sure our schools and other community facilities are able to grow and flourish, as a way to make our standard of living as competitive as possible.

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