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Incumbent State Representative Kathy Hinkle – “I have several things started and big things ahead.”

Incumbent State Representative Kathy Hinkle (House District 96 – Carter and Lawrence County) admits her frustration with limited opportunities to talk to local voters as she pursues a second term as a state legislator.

“I’ve been unable to meet with people and groups like normal,” Hinkle said, explaining she does plan to visit individual homes as well as work with a group of female legislators to get their message out to voters in Carter and Lawrence County. Campaign efforts are balanced with her role as a caretaker for her mother, as well as an aunt battling cancer.

Hinkle adds she will be happy to speak with anyone – “I’ll be anywhere.”

First Term Accomplishments

State Representative Hinkle said her first-term accomplishments have gone largely uncredited, although she is pleased with what she has been able to get done, as well as future projects.

“I am not a lifetime politician, but I have several things started and big things ahead. I’m 64 years old. I don’t want to be a lifetime politician, but if I can make a difference I want to,” she said.

Education and related issues have been among her top concerns, Hinkle said, citing two bills she sponsored last year and has refiled for consideration during an upcoming session. One of the proposals would mandate “professional time” allowing teachers designated periods for development and lesson plans, she said, and the other would allow school boards to provide health insurance for members.

“Many people serving on school boards are older and it is an elected position. Most school boards want to do that for their school board members,” Hinkle said.

She is quick to note she has not been endorsed by the KEA in Carter County, although Lawrence County’s teachers do support her for a second term.

Challenges

First-term challenges included “unburying” an action plan to relieve a potentially dangerous situation related to Louisa East Elementary in downtown Louisa. The school’s pick up and drop off caused clogging of traffic along streets where many elderly and disabled people live, she explained, as well as preventing access to the school if there were an emergency.

“They had a plan – it was an overdue project,” Hinkle said, noting she worked with Department of Transportation officials to solve the problem by creating a new path, including a one-way street, to guide drop off/pick-up traffic “down and around the school and not lined up on the street or hindering traffic,” Hinkle said.

Hinkle said efforts to bring sidewalk improvements to Grayson are another example of uncredited accomplishments. She was also able to host local school groups in Frankfort, and work on licensing concerns for Savage Farms, a local agricultural producer near the Lawrence/Carter/Boyd County border.

“Education has got to be a priority for our area,” she added.

Concerns

Hinkle said she also considers the creation of new jobs as a crucial concern for Kentucky and House District 96. She also favors research into medical marijuana for Kentuckians. Her website (https://www.hinkleforkentucky.com/) lists Hinkle’s priority issues as: Public Pensions; Education; Labor; Healthcare; Infrastructure; Family; Sanctity of Life; Guns; and Gaming.

“It’s not all fixed, but I’m working on it,” she said with a chuckle. “Have I been able to help everybody? I’ve tried. And, I keep asking. Persistence is a crucial part of this.”

Key Issues

Hinkle said her position on key issues are easy to understand.

“I’m Pro-Life from top to bottom, but I don’t think ‘Pro-Life’ is just about abortion,” she said, listing related concerns including housing, food, healthcare, jobs and education.

Even though her NRA ranking dropped as a result of one particular vote, Hinkle said she is a strong supporter of 2nd Amendment issues and has her own concealed-carry permit.

“Three law enforcement organizations asked me to not support that,” she noted.

“I 100 percent support police and firefighters,” she added.

Hinkle serves on four committees, dealing with transportation, veterans affairs, banking and insurance, and economic development.

Veterans Issues

Veterans’ concerns are also among Hinkle’s highest considerations, she said.

“Our veterans – I don’t think they’ve gotten the respect the deserve,” she said, calling up concerns including affordable housing and education. Homeless vets are often unable to get benefits they’ve earned because they can’t list a permanent address on their paperwork.

“You can’t list a homeless shelter as a residence,” Hinkle said. “It’s a spiral. No ID – no benefits and they can’t get a place to live. It’s a cycle.”

Work and Family

Hinkle, who worked for 20 years as director of Child Assault Prevention in Boyd, Lawrence, Elliott and Morgan County (along with some cases in Johnson and Morgan county) has also been a Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Louisa for 46 years, where she has enjoyed working with youth groups and the nursery program.

She and her husband, Lefe “Buddy” Hinkle, live in Lawrence County and have a daughter, Julia, as well as two grandsons ages 11 months and three and half years old. “They are my life,” Hinkle said with pride. Maggie, the family’s “mutt dog,” was found in a pile of mulch at the county Extension office, Hinkle said.

For more information, visit https://www.hinkleforkentucky.com/ online.

Story by TIM PRESTON

Carter County Post

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