Ky. House Speaker faces rare primary challenger in Oldham County
OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. (WAVE) - The May primaries are just one week away for Kentucky voters, and the Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives is asking Oldham County for its votes.
Speaker David Osborne (R-District 59) has held the seat for 15 years. In that time, he has often run unopposed in the general election.
Even more rarely has he had a primary challenger, a fellow Republican vying for District 59. In the 2022 primary, he does, and it is a woman new to politics: Bridgette Ehly.
Furthermore, with no Democrat on the ballot in the general election, whoever wins the primary also wins the district.
Osborne has been the House Speaker for the past three years.
“It gives me the opportunity to take Oldham County values to Frankfort,” Osborne said.
Ehly is a newcomer, a former news reporter who for the past 18 years has been a stay-at-home mom. In that role, she says the COVID-19 pandemic alerted her to issues of “freedom.”
“People should be free,” Ehly said. “They should be able to decide what medical treatments they take. Children shouldn’t have mask mandates. Parents should decide what’s best for their children.”
For Ehly, other priorities include improving roads in Oldham County, cutting government spending, and expanding school choice voucher programs.
For Osborne, some of his key issues include increasing workforce participation, developing infrastructure to handle growth, and alleviating inflation.
“Government is incremental,” Osborne said. “So I think my top three priorities would be to continue the work that we’ve been doing.”
Ehly called for less incrementalism and more sweeping changes. She proposed getting rid of the state income tax and the Kentucky Department of Education. She said local school boards should receive the funds directly.
“Teachers and parents, and even students and administrators and the board members, could get together and decide curriculum,” Ehly said.
Ehly stressed that if elected, she will be responsive to constituents.
“I think I’m more in touch with the community,” Ehly said.
While Ehly’s campaign website is easy to find and includes a direct phone line to the candidate, Osborne’s campaign is more difficult to find online.
WAVE News eventually found a campaign phone number for Osborne on the Republican Party of Kentucky’s website. That phone number led to a full voice mailbox. (Candidates are not permitted to use official legislature phone lines for campaign purposes.)
However, Osborne said that “most people” have his cell phone number.
“I think that most people of Oldham County know how to get me and they have found me to be very responsive,” Osborne said.
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