Kentucky State Rep. Bob Damron is not worried about his challenger, Republican Matt Lockett because he said he has a two valuable assets — the trust of the voters and a recognizable face.
“I love being in Jessamine County, and I can go just about anywhere and meet or see someone I know,” Damron said. “Just walking down Main Street I love to see all the friendly faces and wave to them; and if I don’t know them now I get to know them.”
Damron was first elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1992 and has been subsequently re-elected ever election cycle since.
“We don’t run negative campaigns, never have, and Mr. Lockett has put out some things that are very inaccurate but I will address them at the appropriate time and place,” Damron said. “But I’m not particularly concerned, the voters know my record and trust me, so I trust them.”
Damron said his major focuses are on education, jobs and the budget. A strong education system creates qualified people for better jobs which creates revenue for the state.
Damron describes himself as a fiscally-conservative Democrat and despite the political economical climate of Kentucky he said he is seen as working across the aisle. He even has one lady on his campaign staff who was going door-to-door with a “Vote for Romney” pin on, which Damron said he fully supported because he does not believe in voting straight party lines. He also said he is tough on cutting spending and trimming the budget while trying working to increase revenue.
“Right now I consider it a depression, or some call it a recession we’re in,” he said. “So as we’re in this mess we’ve been in for six years, we’ve seen a sharp decline in property tax, income tax and sales taxes, because people just don’t have the money to spend — The construction companies I think took the hardest hit.”
Damron said he’s worked with Gov. Steve Beshear and the Republican senate to cut the budget eight different times in the past four years alone and said he helped cut spending $1.6 billion in all.
“As we made those cuts, instead of cutting across the board we prioritized funding for K-12,” he said. “The other areas of government took as much as 30 percent in cuts.”
Damron said during those budget cuts he supported keeping funding for K-12 because his number one priority is education.
“We have a very strong school system, which creates jobs, and I think Jessamine County has seen the importance of that type of infrastructure.
In Jessamine County, one of the major impacts over the next decade will be the construction of the U.S. 27 eastern bypass and I-75 connector, which Damron stated they would be a major boost to creating jobs, which in turn would give the state income tax a much needed boost as well.
“In the long run I think the connector is very positive for Jessamine County and the economical growth of the community by providing access to our Industrial Park,” Damron said. “I understand there are concerns of those who live in that region, and are opposed, but I believe the transportation department is working with them to mitigate any potential impact it’s going to have down there.”
Damron said there is “no one single bullet” that brings jobs into the county but it’s a process of education and building infrastructure.
“It’s a tough economical climate but I think Kentucky is rebounding better that most states,” Damron said. “And I’m going to be in Frankfort and encourage that rebound.”