Ousting McConnell Is The Focus For Local Democrats

by Gabe Bullard on May 16, 2008

This is Democratic Senate Candidate Greg Fischer in a recent television ad.  He’s been criticized for attacking campaign frontrunner Bruce Lunsford, who has responded with this ad.But barbs aside, the two candidates have similar priorities.”Clearly the biggest is jobs and the economy,” says Fischer.”Job development is probably number one right now,” says LunsfordFischer’s plan to generate jobs relies on teaching Americans new skills to make them more competitive internationally. Lunsford says he’d stimulate economic growth by eliminating the tax breaks that have allowed companies to move work overseas.Where the candidates start to differ is on their second priority.”I’m very committed to finding a national health care plan that gets good quality, affordable health care to all Americans,” says Fischer.Lunsford says health care plans should offer more freedom of choice.”Everybody should be entitled to a blue plate special,” he says. “They have a policy that covers their basic needs. And if people want to buy more than that then they have that privilege. Just like they have a choice in what kinds of trucks they buy or the kinds of tractors they buy.”But another candidate, physician Michael Cassaro, says an overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system is not as simple as Fischer and Lunsford make it sound.”I think if we just take the approach that we’re going to throw out our current system and replace it with universal health care, we’ll trade one set of problems for another,” says Cassaro.A recent Survey USA poll gives Cassaro 3% of the vote. That’s behind Lunsford’s 41% and Fischer’s 23%. But despite trailing, Cassaro hopes voters recognize what he has in common with the frontrunners.”I think the most important issue should be who is the most qualified candidate to beat Mitch McConnell in the fall and to be most effective as a United State Senator for Kentuckians,” he says.”Mitch McConnell is a very smart man and he’s a good politician, he’s a very good politician,” says blogger and media producer James Pence.Pence covers Kentucky for the grassroots organization Ditch Mitch. The group is focused on ousting Senator McConnell primarily because of his ties to the Bush Administration.While Pence says defeating McConnell, who’s seeking a fifth term in the Senate, won’t be easy, he hopes the presidential race will get more Democrats to the polls in November.”If they can come together after the Obama Hillary thing is over with and they can maintain this excitement, it will really help defeat Senator Mitch McConnell,” he says.The Democrats will apparently have their work cut out for them. A poll conducted by the Lexington Herald-Leader last week shows McConnell with a 12% lead over Democratic frontrunner Bruce Lunsford.Also seeking the Democratic nomination for the Senate next week are: Kenneth Stepp, David Williams, David Wylie and James Rice.

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