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The candidates for Kentucky’s 5th District House of Representatives seat are sounding off on Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed 9 percent cut to state universities.
Murray State officials are circulating a change.org petition in opposition to the cuts that has – as of Friday afternoon – gained nearly 2,500 signatures in the last two days.
Incumbent Republican state Rep. Kenny Imes says he’s been inundated with emails about the cuts in recent days. Imes, who supported Bevin during his gubernatorial campaign, said he’s actually more concerned about the 4.5 percent budget cut on the table for the remaining fiscal year than the looming 9 percent decrease in funding but thinks there will be some compromise.
“The governor basically had six weeks to put this budget together, so I think there’s going to be a lot of negotiation between the House,” Imes said. “The House will hear the budget first.”
Imes said that funding the Breathitt Veterinary Center represents around 7 percent of MSU’s operating budget and that if that money wasn’t subject to the proposed cuts it would take pressure off school officials to meet budget demands.
Democratic candidate David Ramey said he’s told House leaders that MSU is too important to the Jackson Purchase to shoulder the budget cuts outlined in the governor’s biennial budget. Ramey, the chair of the Calloway County Democratic Party, said if he were in Frankfort, he’d be fighting for more money being invested in higher education.
“You know, we’ve had leaders in Frankfort before, like Freed Curd, that could get a lot of things done for Murray State University and for our community, and that’s the state Representative I want to be,” Ramey said.
Both candidates are unopposed in May’s primary.
David Ramey of Murray officially filed his paperwork to seek election to the Kentucky House of Representatives today. He is running for Kentucky’s 5th House District made of up Calloway County and part of Trigg County. This morning, Ramey met with Kentucky House Speaker Pro Tem Jody Richards, who joined him to personally file in Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes’ office in the Capitol. Secretary Grimes accepted his papers as in good order for the 2016 election. Ramey filed as a Democrat.
David Ramey is a local businessman who started his own independent insurance agency in Murray after attending Murray State University, and working as a journalist for the Murray Ledger & Times. He also served as sports information director in the athletics department at Murray State University, and the executive director of the Racer Athletic Association.
Ramey previously served on Murray City Council where he focused on helping build local businesses and fostering economic development in the area. He has also served two terms as the Chair of the Calloway County Democratic Party.
“Western Kentucky needs new leadership to step up and fight for our priorities in Frankfort,” Ramey said. “During my time in local politics, I’ve developed a great passion for public service and helping the people any way I can. Quite simply, we need more of that in our state government.”
Ramey has pledged to make promoting job creation and strengthening public education for all Kentucky children as key areas of focus. He also hopes to build partnerships for job training with Kentucky public universities and technical college system.
“Given the dysfunction in Washington, most decisions affecting our community are made in Frankfort,” Ramey said. “I see serving in the legislature as the best opportunity to move our community forward. I will be a strong voice for economic growth in Western Kentucky and will stand up for public education, which gives all Kentucky children a chance to succeed.”
David Ramey and his wife Camela live in Murray and their two children John and Lily. The Rameys recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.