Two Republicans Face Off For Senate Seat

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(WBKO) -- The Republican primary in the 16th district for state senate features incumbent Sen. Sara Beth Gregory, R-Monticello who has spent two years in Frankfort as a Senator and Campbellsville Political Science Professor Max Wise.

It's a big race figuratively and quite literally, the district features seven counties: Taylor, Adair, Russell, Cumberland, Clinton, McCreary and Wayne Counties.

Both candidates pride themselves on being conservative.

"100% pro life, being exposed to expanded gambling, strong record on 2nd amendment rights, the endorsement of the National Rifle Association and their A+ rating," said Gregory, candidate for Senate.

"We've seen activist judges now get involved in terms of rulings on gay marriage issues. I want to stand with the voters. We voted against that in 2004 and I want to be a voice in the legislature that stands for conservative principals," said Wise, candidate for Senate.

WBKO caught up with them campaigning in the district, and both of them say jobs are a top priority.

"Promoting policies to help create jobs, I worked with the Kentucky Chamber the last session on their public private partnership legislation. I would like to see that legislation move forward in the future," said Gregory.

"We have to have in this particular area, south central Kentucky, we've got to produce jobs. We've got to strengthen the jobs we currently have and we've got to bring new industries in to this area," said Wise.

While they do agree on some issues, it's not the case with everything. Wise recently criticized Sen. Gregory for not voting on a bill that would create a medical review panel system for medical malpractice cases.

"Health care is a major concern for the voters and I don't care if you vote yes, I don't care if you vote no, but walking out? We pay as tax payers for legislators to go to Frankfort and vote. You vote yes, you vote no, back it up with why you voted yes or no, but to simply walk out on a vote like that, to me that's not doing your job," said Wise.

"Because I am an attorney, I do work at a law firm that sometimes handles those types of cases, I felt the most ethical course of action was not to vote on that bill. So, it's an issue I didn't think was appropriate given the circumstances that I wouldn't have a deciding vote on the issue and the other circumstance, I chose to abstain and not vote on that particular issue. I have a very good attendance and voting record from my time in the legislature. So, it's not a matter of absenteeism in anyway," said Gregory.

Both candidates say they'll be working hard down the stretch in this race.

No other candidate has filed in this race, essentially the winner of this primary will be the next senator.

The primary election is May 20th.


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