I recently attended a reception at Holly Rood for Vache King’s campaign launch for county judge-executive. This event was small and lovely, and exactly what local politics should be. As someone relatively new to Winchester, I walk into most places (besides the pub and church) expecting to know no one, so this event was a chance to shake hands, meet some new people, and even meet and have a real conversation with someone who, if I get my wish, would become one of my local representatives.
As a youth in Lexington, my hometown, I remember meeting other local politicians when my parents dragged me along to similar reception. My city councilwoman later became my insurance agent (and still is!), and another local representative was also a woman I looked up to even when I grew tall enough to see her eye-to-eye. I helped campaign for my best friend’s father, who became county attorney before we were old enough to vote for him.
I’m entirely familiar with having the opportunity to vote for someone I have known all my life, and I know most of the folks in Winchester do this regularly. Politics is at its best when we have the chance to see someone’s family and friendships, their values and their integrity, their work and their leisure.
Winchester, as other writers for WinCity have noted, is growing. We have our own centers of gravity here – employers and churches and restaurants and groups – at the same time that we keep an eye on Lexington and other neighboring towns. We are part of the Bluegrass region and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, part of the United States, and we share the planet with Ukraine and Russia, Morocco and Afghanistan. We need new perspectives, broader representation, and more women and more black and brown faces in positions of power.
As we elect our next representatives over the next few months, I’d love to see more folks try to get to know candidates, both incumbents and challengers. Hannah Toole (city council), Tommy Adams (candidate for State Representative, District 73), Chris Preece (candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, 6th Congressional District), and Vache King are all new voices, with ideas and connections and fresh perspectives. I’m excited about Charles Booker’s campaign for Senate.
Meet the candidates, and ask them questions. You might find a new representative and make a new friend.