A new wave of progressive candidates can help restore a healthy democracy, KFTC members believe as they announce November election endorsements | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth
Release Date: 
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Press Contact: 
Meta Mendel-Reyes
KFTC Chairperson

A new wave of progressive candidates can help restore a healthy democracy, KFTC members believe as they announce November election endorsements

The New Power PAC has announced 70 endorsements for the 2018 November election.

“The New Power PAC has chosen to endorse these candidates because we believe they share our values and support our issues, because we believe we can make a difference in their race, and because – when elected – they can make a difference in our democracy,” said Meta Mendel-Reyes, chairperson of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth.

The endorsements range from local officials to candidates for the U.S. Congress, from Paducah to Pike County.

KFTC member-led Democracy Teams across Kentucky participated in an extensive, thoughtful and deliberate democratic process to recommend candidates running in their communities. They read over candidate surveys, researched their records and backgrounds, and met with candidates to learn more about them.

“Instead of despairing or giving up in the face of the current assault on justice and equality, ordinary Kentuckians and progressive candidates are working together to reclaim a democratic Commonwealth,” said Mendel-Reyes. “By endorsing so many candidates, so many young and diverse candidates, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth is helping to reclaim democracy in the state and the nation.”

KFTC formed the New Power PAC (www.newpowerky.org) in 2010 to lift up the voices of ordinary Kentuckians in critical elections, to demonstrate that there’s a significant base of support for New Power, and to spotlight the positions and activities of candidates that are consistent with KFTC’s values and goals

“The value of our endorsement is the energy of our members. Many are registering new voters, knocking on doors in their neighborhoods, planning candidate forums and making phone calls.”

KFTC backed up its members’ activity by hiring 18 temporary voter empowerment organizers for the fall.

How KFTC goes about making endorsements is a reflection of its values.

“In line with our vision, KFTC’s endorsement process is democratic and grassroots. Instead of endorsements decided by the top leaders of the organization, our endorsements are based on recommendations from our local chapters,” explained Mendel-Reyes.

“The chapters go through an in-depth process that includes candidate surveys, interviews and discussions at local democracy team meetings. Their recommendations are sent to the Executive Committee, which reviews them and makes a final decision.

“Another way to put this is that we put our vision of democracy in which ‘the voices of ordinary people are heard and respected in our democracy’ into practice,” Mendel-Reyes added.

As far as helping the candidates get elected, Mendel-Reyes says KFTC will “do some of the things that other PACs do, such as mailings to voters and our members in particular. With 12,000 members, that is a lot of strength to begin with.  

“But our most important activity is building on our experience in contacting voters, one by one, through door-to-door canvassing and phone banking. KFTC’s Action for Democracy initiative links together our issue work and our electoral work, so that our contacts with voters are based on real issues they care about.

“Because our members played the central role in deciding on endorsements, they are committed to working as hard as they can to help elect the candidates they believe in,” Mendel-Reyes concluded.

“Grassroots participation in our elections via issues education and voting are essential to a healthy democracy,” pointed out Rosanne Klarer, a leader in Scott County. “We cannot afford inaction. Apathy has given us a government controlled by dangerous dark money. We the people must take back our government if we want a livable environment and fair representation at all levels of government!”

The candidates endorsed for the November 2018 general election are:

Candidates for Local Office

  • Michael Hale (Barren County Judge Executive)
  • Steve Connelly (Berea Mayor)
  • Dana Beasley Brown (Bowling Green City Commission)
  • Carlos Bailey (Bowling Green City Commission)
  • Annie O’Connell (Jefferson Circuit Court Judge)
  • Damien Nichols (Georgetown City Council)
  • Derek Guy (Jefferson County School Board)
  • Corrie Shull (Jefferson County School Board)
  • Liz Sheehan (Lexington City Council)
  • Christian Motley (Lexington City Council)
  • Jennifer Reynolds (Lexington City Council)
  • Tim Thompson (Scott County Magistrate)
  • Millie Butcher Conway (Scott County Magistrate)
  • Bryan Blankenship (Scott County Magistrate)

Candidates for the Kentucky House

  • Charlotte Goddard (Kentucky House District 2)
  • Joy Gray (Kentucky House District 7)
  • Jim Glenn (Kentucky House District 13)
  • Donielle Lovell (Kentucky House District 18)
  • Patti Minter (Kentucky House District 20)
  • LaToya Drake (Kentucky House District 23)
  • Ronel Brown (Kentucky House District 29)
  • Tom Burch (Kentucky House District 30)
  • Josie Raymond (Kentucky House District 31)
  • Tina Bojanowski (Kentucky House District 32)
  • Mary Lou Marzian (Kentucky House District 34)
  • Lisa Willner (Kentucky House District 35)
  • Maurice M. Sweeney (Kentucky House District 36)
  • Jeffrey Donohue (Kentucky House District 37)
  • Nima Kulkarni (Kentucky House District 40)
  • Attica Scott (Kentucky House District 41)
  • Reginald Meeks (Kentucky House District 42)
  • Charles Booker (Kentucky House District 43)
  • Josh Hicks (Kentucky House District 45)
  • Lydia Coffey (Kentucky House District 54)
  • Cathy Carter (Kentucky House District 55)
  • Joe Graviss (Kentucky House District 56)
  • Jennifer Urie (Kentucky House District 62)
  • Josh Blair (Kentucky House District 63)
  • Charles "Buddy" Wheatley (Kentucky House District 65)
  • Roberto Henriquez (Kentucky House District 66)
  • Dennis Keene (Kentucky House District 67)
  • Jason Kilmer (Kentucky House District 68)
  • Col Owens (Kentucky House District 69)
  • Pat Banks (Kentucky House District 73)
  • Kelly Flood (Kentucky House District 75)
  • George Brown (Kentucky House District 77)
  • Gregory Coulson (Kentucky House District 78)
  • Morgan Eaves (Kentucky House District 81)
  • Stefanie J. E. Kingsley (Kentucky House District 82)
  • Tom Pope (Kentucky House District 84)
  • Debra Ferguson Payne (Kentucky House District 86)
  • Cherlynn Stevenson (Kentucky House District 88)
  • Kelly Smith (Kentucky House District 89)
  • Chris Harris (Kentucky House District 93)
  • Angie Hatton (Kentucky House District 94)

Candidates for the Kentucky Senate

  • Crystal Chappell (Kentucky Senate District 6)
  • Bob Glenn (Kentucky Senate District 8)
  • Paula Setser-Kissick (Kentucky Senate District 12)
  • Stephanie Compton (Kentucky Senate District 14)
  • Dave Suetholz (Kentucky Senate District 20)
  • Carolyn Dupont (Kentucky Senate District 22)
  • Rachel Roberts (Kentucky Senate District 24)
  • Karen Berg (Kentucky Senate District 26)
  • Denise Gray (Kentucky Senate District 28)
  • Paula Clemons-Combs (Kentucky Senate District 30)
  • Jeanie Smith (Kentucky Senate District 32)

Candidates for U.S. Congress

  • Paul Walker (U.S. House District 1)
  • John Yarmuth (U.S. House District 3)
  • Seth Hall (U.S. House District 4)
  • Amy McGrath (U.S. House District 6)