Kate Turner, candidate for KY House

Episode 1102 November 02, 2022 00:31:41
Kate Turner, candidate for KY House
Moving Kentucky Forward
Kate Turner, candidate for KY House

Nov 02 2022 | 00:31:41

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Hosted By

Bruce Maples

Show Notes

We're baaaaack!! Yes, “Moving Kentucky Forward” is back after a too-long hiatus. And for our first show back, we interview Kate Turner, who is running against Jason Nemes for KY House district 33. This was a great interview, and Kate is a great candidate! You can check out her campaign at KateForKentucky.com. Enjoy!

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:12 Hello, I'm Bruce Maples, publisher of Forward Kentucky, and as Jack Nicholson once said, I'm back. That's right. After a long hiatus, we are restarting moving Kentucky forward. Except this time, in addition to being a podcast, it is also going to be a video available on YouTube. I'm excited to get this going again and to start interviewing people across the state and even around the nation about Kentucky politics, policies and politicians. Before we go any further into today's interview, which I'm very excited about, I need to share with you the various media offerings we now have at Forward Kentucky. First of all, there's this one Moving Kentucky Forward, which is a podcast and now a video available on YouTube. You can get the podcast on your favorite podcast app. The second one is the State of Kentucky. This is my observations and opinions about current events and issues. Speaker 1 00:01:13 It is also available as a podcast and as a video on YouTube. And finally, we have recently gotten active on TikTok, and there, for the most part, we are doing our news and notes videos on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. A quick way to catch up, but occasionally we will post other things there as well. I hope you will take advantage of all of these and follow us on all these platforms. And now for today's interview, I'm very excited to bring to you Kate Turner, who is running for Kentucky House against Jason Nemus in the eastern part of Jestin County and part of Oldham County. I found her to be very impressive, both as a candidate and just as a person, and I really enjoyed our interview. I hope you will enjoy it too. And listen all the way through. Let's talk with Kate Turner. We're here today with Kate Turner, who is running for the State House, and I'm very excited to be able to talk with her and learn more about her campaign. Ms. Turner, welcome to Moving Kentucky Forward. Speaker 2 00:02:24 Hi. Thanks so much for having me. Speaker 1 00:02:27 Very glad to, Um, let's lay the basics out for our, uh, listeners and viewers. You are running in which district and against which person Speaker 2 00:02:37 I'm running in District 33, uh, against Jason Nemus. Speaker 1 00:02:42 Jason has been there for a while, and two or three people have taken a good swing at him and have not been able to pull that off. How is it going for you this year and why do you think you can do that? Speaker 2 00:02:56 Um, we are feeling, uh, very cautiously optimistic about the race this year. Um, the previous candidates that have run against, uh, Jason Nemus have been on the Jefferson County side of the district. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, I live with my family in the, on the Oldham County side of the district, um, which tends to be the more conservative side of the district. Um, and my family's been here for generations. So, um, I'm a fifth generation turner in Kentucky. Wow. Um, <laugh>. And, uh, my, um, my family's been in public service here. Um, my great uncle was Peewee Valley firefighter for on and off, or, or was a Peewee Valley fire chief for about 30 years. And then, wow. My, um, great uncle was a pee Peewee Valley sheriff for, uh, on and off with his brother for about 35 years. Um, and this house that I'm in right now was a daycare center for about 30 years that my Aunt Virginia ran. So, um, you know, there's dozens of families that grew up in Peewee knowing the Turners as people that took care of their community. Um, and I'm following that tradition. Speaker 1 00:04:08 That's very cool. Uh, I'm a big, I love local history, and so I could probably spend the entire interview just talking to you about the Turners Yeah, <laugh>. Let's, let's not do that. Uh, but if you're, if you're that much involved in the community, what did people say when you announced you were running? Speaker 2 00:04:29 You know, it's funny, in Peely, um, around here, when I go door knocking, um, people ask if I'm one of those Turners <laugh>, um, I get that <laugh>. I get that actually pretty frequently. Um, my, uh, uncle also owns a very successful, um, flooring company in the area. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, one of the larger ones in the Louisville metro area. Um, and that's a, a not meaning to plug my uncle's company, but it's carpet specialists. Um, and, you know, they do small residential jobs and they do big corporate jobs, and so people know them well. Um, and my, my two uncles own that business together. Um, so folks also know them have been letting them into their homes, um, you know, for years, uh, to do flooring work. Um, so there's a lot of, Oh, I know your uncle, he laid my floor, or he did my stair runner, or, um, you know, uh, uh, it's, it's, uh, we have deep roots here, so there's definitely a, uh, I won't hold it against you that you're a turner, uh, you know, um, cheekily that I get <laugh> Sure. A lot. Speaker 1 00:05:40 So, Okay. So you're mentioning going door knocking. Um, I ran for office a long time ago, and the door knocking part was actually the part that I enjoyed the most. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I loved getting out and meeting people. So what kind of reception are you getting and how much door knocking have you done? Speaker 2 00:05:58 Oh my goodness. Well, door knocking is pretty much all I do these days. Um, <laugh> I started, uh, my campaign, uh, almost a year and a half ago at this point. Yeah. Um, and I started knocking early. So some of these neighborhoods I'm going through and knocking for the second or third time, and I'm remembering people and their stories, um, which I think, uh, it's rewarding for me, but it's also incredibly important to the voter that they feel like someone really cares about them. Um, I'm getting a very positive reception on the doors. Um, you know, there's definitely people that will, you know, have said that they're Republican, they're always gonna vote Republican, and I thank them kindly and let them know that I would love to represent them no matter what. Um, and, uh, but that happens, uh, far less frequently than people who say, you know, I'm a registered Republican. Speaker 2 00:06:49 I voted for Nemus in the past, but I'm not happy and I'm going to be voting for you. Um, and, uh, I mean, of course that it, it's wonderful to hear that. Um, and there there are a lot of folks that are disappointed in the work that he's done, Um, you know, playing a moderate on the Jefferson County side of things and then voting in Frankfurt, like he's not a moderate. Yeah. Um, and people pick up on that. Um, so, um, there's a lot of people that are disappointed in him, um, that are excited about my candidacy. Speaker 1 00:07:21 Cool. Um, how much is the abortion issue coming up? And are you bringing it up or are they bringing it up? Speaker 2 00:07:29 It is, um, it is the number one issue that people are bringing up to me. Wow. Um, yeah. Um, often, uh, other issues that come up are public schools or inflation, increasing costs, cost of living. Um, but the most common issue that comes up is abortion. Um, I'm bringing it up and people are bringing it up to me, Um, particularly with Amendment two on the ballot, it's something that people will, I'll come to their door and they'll, the first thing that they'll ask me is, What is your stance on reproductive rights? Um, and, uh, you know, it, it is, I'm also finding it to be an incredibly effective way to speak with, um, even men, particularly fathers. Um, Jason Nemus is particularly extreme on this issue. Um, and we like to, um, I think as a culture, um, put abortion into this corner of being a women's, a women's issue, a reproductive rights issue mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:08:32 <affirmative> that it only affects a small group of people. It's not something that's on top of mind for everyone. Um, but this, this is something that impacts everyone. Um, it is an economic issue. It is something that impacts people's families. And, um, you know, 60% of people who seek abortions are already mothers. So they're doing this because they feel that they can't properly care for the, the children that they already have. Um, or they feel that they can care for the children that they already have, but not for more. Um, and, you know, fathers see their partners go through pregnancy, um, and experience it, and they see, they think, you know, why should the government be involved in any decision having to deal with this? You know? Whereas, um, if they haven't had a partner go through that before, they might not be thinking about it that much. Um, but it's, I mean, it's something that, that I bring up. Um, or someone will bring up with me at almost every single door. Um, and I've been, um, I'm no longer surprised by the number and type of people that, um, uh, are shocked to hear how extreme nemus is and how his votes would impact families in Kentucky. Speaker 1 00:09:48 Obviously, we have written on the site multiple times about abortion, abortion rights, the impact of these laws. And yeah, you're right. I still see people, I still meet people who are, when you lay out for them the, uh, results of these laws, they just think of babies. And when I say something about, Well, what about in vitro fertilization, which would now be illegal? Or, what about not getting medication for miscarriages, which would now be illegal? And they kind of go, Oh, wow, I didn't know that was involved in there. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Uh, okay. So you said you've got some other issues, which is schools and inflation. Are you able to speak to the inflation thing at all? Do you ever get into the corporate profits angle of that issue? Speaker 2 00:10:40 Um, you know, it doesn't come up that often at the door inflation specifically. I think that a lot of folks recognize that that's something that, uh, uh, you know, the state legislature, like local elections have, you know, very little power over. Right. You know, global inflation. Um, but I do talk about rising costs of specifically, um, healthcare and childcare mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, which are things that the legislature can absolutely impact. Um, and, you know, I got into this race initially because I got laid off and lost my health insurance, and I was able to find work again pretty quickly. Um, but it was freelance work. And, uh, so I am paying for Cobra and the options that are available on the Kentucky marketplace are not great. Um, they're incredibly expensive with high deductibles. Um, and I can't keep my doctors, um, and, you know, I'm 35 and have no chronic conditions. Speaker 2 00:11:43 I don't need any sort of specialty care, but yet my coverage is $700 a month. Yeah. And that meant that I needed to either move in with my family or break into my retirement account to just simply have health insurance. And, um, you know, if I'm in the situation that I'm in, um, that I'm lucky enough to have the support that I have. And, um, I have the education and the experience that I have. Um, I'm a civil engineer. Um, I have a four year degree from the University of Maryland. Um, and, you know, I have 14 years of construction project management experience. If this is the situation that I'm in Yeah. Given the resources that I have, how difficult is it for other people that don't have those resources? Right. And so, um, and you know, when you talk about childcare, we're looking at upwards of $10,000 a year on average mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and those are not things that, um, uh, those are not things that working families can just absorb with no issue and without sacrifice. Um, so, uh, that's usually the framework with which I, I talk about rising costs and costs of living. Speaker 1 00:12:58 So you mentioned where you live and being in Oldham County and, and especially the Turners of Peewee Valley mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, what about the Jefferson County side? Are you hearing the, is it basically the same issues or are you getting a different set of things when you come over here? Speaker 2 00:13:21 It's very similar. Um, Oldham County, uh, I, I hear different, different sides of the public school issue, um, in Jefferson County and Oldham County. Um, and you know, what's interesting is I started spending, um, some time with, uh, a group of moms of children with special needs in Oldham County public schools. And, uh, you know, Oldham County has this reputation for having the best public schools in the state. And, um, you know, you get a private school education for a public school price if you live in Oldham County. Um, but what I found is that for moms of kids that have special needs of any kind, that's often not the case. Mm. Um, and, uh, they are very frustrated with that reputation and the lack of support for their 5 0 4 s and IEPs for their students, um, for their children. Um, and in Jefferson County, it's a whole different ballgame because depending on whether or not you're part of, um, Anchorage's, uh, separate district, um, independent district, or, um, whether, you know, you live in Linden, your situation is completely different. So that's definitely where I see, um, the difference in, um, the difference in concerns over, uh, schooling. Speaker 1 00:14:48 So let's, let's talk, um, inside baseball for a minute. Uh, how is the campaign itself going? Uh, fundraising, volunteers, literature, et cetera? Speaker 2 00:15:01 I am very proud of the campaign that we've put together. Um, I'm a first time candidate. I am not, I don't come from a political family. I'm not an attorney <laugh>. I didn't go to law school. And, um, you know, I'm a first time candidate. And, um, we raised over a hundred thousand dollars, uh, for a state legisla late of race in Kentucky, which is, uh, you know, it's not nothing. Um, and, uh, our volunteers have been fantastic. Um, I get really wonderful messages from, um, the crew of volunteers that we see regularly. And it means a lot to me that they feel that they wanna commit their time to my race. Cause there's a lot of races, particularly in Jefferson County, that they could be committing their time to. And they've said that door knocking for me is easy because they believe in me and they believe in my message, and they believe in my race. Um, and that means a lot. Um, so, uh, I'm feeling, uh, I'm, no matter what, I'm incredibly proud of this race, uh, and what we put together. Speaker 1 00:16:10 Yeah. That's, that, uh, fundraising total is pretty impressive. Uh, I don't know if you've looked at our site much, but we have a election central, and one of the things on there is the fundraising numbers for everybody. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I can tell you that that's, that's on up there for sure. Um, do you get much pushback about running as a woman? Speaker 2 00:16:36 No, not directly. Um, I think that there might be, um, if if it's there, it's subversive. I think people are excited that a young person is running. Yeah. Um, there's a, there's a lot of sentiment that no matter how, uh, no matter what party, what side of the aisle someone is coming from, there are people that will say, You know, I'm really excited that you're running even though I'm a Republican. Uh, but that young people are getting involved and getting invested, and we need new blood. Um, Speaker 1 00:17:09 So have you have you and Jason, I assume you probably have crossed paths some on the campaign trail. Has there been a debate? Speaker 2 00:17:19 No. No. Um, we have met in pa, excuse me, we've met in passing mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and, uh, we took a picture together at Oldham County Day, um, which is the first time that we officially met. Um, but no, he has refused to debate me. Um, and I know it's because he is afraid of the votes that he made in Frankfurt. Um, and, you know, I really like to point out, and I think it's important to point out that, um, not only did he vote for the abortion ban that is currently, uh, the law of the land in Kentucky, the trigger law, um, there was a clean amendment that would've allowed for exceptions for rape and incest. Um, and, um, my friend and mentor and future colleague Rachel Roberts gave, uh, stirring speech, uh, very emotional and personal and vulnerable speech on the floor at the house about her assault at the age of 14, um, when that amendment came up and he still voted it down. Speaker 2 00:18:25 And, uh, you know, Rachel begged her colleagues to fight for the other Rachels of the world, the other 14 year old girls that were experiencing assault and abuse, and they knew what they were voting for, and they still voted that way. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, um, you know, any talk of, um, you know, them not realizing how extrem this is or what the implications would be, or we didn't think it would be that bad, or we're gonna go back and fix it, for me, is just so hollow because, um, you know, the testimony was there on the floor, um, and they still voted it down. Speaker 1 00:19:06 Yeah. Uh, has anybody commented on the Democratic ad about the extremists? Speaker 2 00:19:15 Um, no. Uh, not directly to me, no. Um, Okay. I've heard rumblings about it being an effective ad. Um, but what I'm actually hearing about more at the doors is my mail pieces, um, that people are recognizing me for my mail pieces and that they're gonna vote for me. They kept my mail piece, um, and they're excited to, to vote for me. Speaker 1 00:19:39 Cool. Um, okay. So I have a couple of questions that I pretty much always ask any candidate, so I'm gonna throw those out there before I do though. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, I'm, I'm fascinated. I, I love interviewing candidates who are not lawyers, <laugh>, uh, because there's so many lawyers, um, civil engineer. Speaker 2 00:20:02 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:20:03 Uh, that's a very cool, My, uh, my, some of my family are engineers, and so I have a lot of respect for those professions, and I find that people who are in the engineering field tend to be pretty logical and, and fact based and, you know, let's, let's test and fail early, so we learn. Uh, is that gonna be a frustration for you working in Frank? Speaker 2 00:20:33 Um, that's such a great question. Uh, yeah. I think of, um, whenever someone asks me what I do, and I say, I'm an engineer, and I've had people, many people ask me, What does that mean? I hear that, but I don't really know what that means. Right. And, um, so I always say that, you know, an engineer is a problem solver for whatever field you're in, whether it's civil, uh, I'm a civil and environmental engineer, or whether you're a mechanical engineer, computer engineer, aerospace engineer, you're a problem solver. And you take in all of the, um, the data and the factors at play, and you figure out a solution to a problem. And, um, so, you know, while there is, um, a lot of subjective, um, um, a lot of subjective factors at play in Frankfurt and in government work and public service to begin with, um, it still is just a factor that you need to attune for mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:21:33 <affirmative>. Um, and so, um, you know, you can have all of the data in the world and, uh, you can prove whatever point you think you can, but if you can't communicate it well to the people that it matters to, it doesn't matter. And, um, <laugh>, I, I often joked that I was, um, I was always the, um, uh, the, the last kid in the engineering class to get the answer to the problem, but I would always be the first one to be able to explain it. So, um, I was really, really strong in technical writing mm-hmm. And giving presentations and, you know, I was never gonna be the one that was gonna break the curve and figure out the solution before everyone else did. Um, but once I got it, I could teach. And I find that to be, um, an incredibly valuable skill set. Speaker 2 00:22:27 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and, you know, it, it also, uh, provided me with a huge amount of success in my career. Um, you know, I was the first one to have a paid internship in my class. Uh, you know, when we went to the job fair, I was the first one who, um, was able to, uh, oh my gosh, I was so lucky. I, um, I went to University of Maryland and I had an internship for a company that renovated the Supreme Court and the Capital Visitor Center. And, uh, so I would ride the metro, uh, three days a week into Washington DC and sit in the Dirks and Senate building. That was where our office was. Um, it was, I mean, it was this like little H V a C closet of the top four of the <laugh>, the Dirksen building <laugh>. Um, but, you know, I had those kinds of experiences because I had an outgoing personality and was able to advocate for myself and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, you know, uh, I'm really proud of that at Speaker 1 00:23:30 That's very cool. And again, sometimes when I do interviews, I have to, uh, restrain myself from taking off on a tangent and, and there's some engineering and political tangents right there. All right. So I'm gonna ask you my two questions I ask every candidate. Uh, the first one is, you go to Frankfurt, and on your first day in Frankfurt, you're given a magic wand. And the magic wand means you can do anything you want. Literally anything. Money's not an object, Time doesn't even matter. What would be two or three things you would do with your magic wand when you got to Frankfurt? Speaker 2 00:24:11 That's such a great question. Um, I think from a policy standpoint, I mean, universal childcare and universal healthcare is just two things that just always, uh, the forefront of my mind. I think that those are things that, um, even if you are a healthy person with no children, you benefit from a society that invests in people and the next generation. Um, but I think, um, since it's a magic wand and, uh, I want to be a little bit more creative here, um, <laugh>, this sounds maybe a little silly, uh, but I would really love to have all of the legislators sit down and eat dinner together. Um, I love to cook and I love to entertain, and I think that something special happens when you share a meal with people mm-hmm. <affirmative>. That's right. And there's a level of intimacy there that just never would be there. Speaker 2 00:25:11 It's a lot harder to yell at someone when you're even sharing a cup of coffee and donuts, um, versus when you're, you know, standing at a desk with just papers in front of you. Right. Um, and, um, I, I hope, um, that, uh, the majority of folks who are in Frankfurt, um, regardless of party, are there to improve the lives of Kentuckians. And that means that, um, we have to have a lot more in common than we'd like to admit. And, um, I'd like to think that sharing a meal together, we could find some of those common places and, um, you know, past legislation that benefits Kentucky families no matter what. Um, so yeah. Speaker 1 00:25:58 Okay. All right. My last question, uh, actually, it's my next to last question. My next to last question is, is there anything that you wanted to talk about that I haven't brought up? Speaker 2 00:26:10 Oh, goodness. Um, one thing that I definitely wanna talk about is public schools in Kentucky and, um, how my, uh, my opponent, um, promised, uh, uh, or courted the, the endorsement of Jefferson County Teachers Association. Oh, yeah. Um, and, um, let them down by voting for charter schools in the state. And I think if you're not immersed in ed policy, uh, it's difficult to know, like, why should I be for or against charter schools? Um, and I, I think it's just really, really simple. Um, public dollars belong in public schools, and we should be investing public money in public schools. Um, charter schools, um, while they're funded by public dollars, have for profit entities behind them writing their curriculums. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and charter schools can reject any student that has special needs simply because they do not need to. They're not, they're not legally required to accommodate every child just like a public school is. Right. Um, and, um, I think that that's something that can easily get lost in this whole debate, um, around school choice, because that phrase sounds so wonderful and really easy to buy into. Um, but the truth is, is that charter schools are, um, you know, the first step in a path down, defunding public education and making sure that, um, stepping away from making sure that every child in Kentucky has access to a world class public education. Speaker 1 00:27:47 Excellent. Uh, I'm glad you brought that up. That's a real issue for me and for forward Kentucky. All right, last question. Uh, I live in Peewee Valley or somewhere over there, and you have come to my door and you've knocked on my door and I've opened the door. And so my question to you is, you're standing on my door on my porch. Why should I vote for you? Speaker 2 00:28:17 I am doing this for the right reasons. I, uh, am a trustworthy person. I am going to advocate for what is best for Kentucky working families, no matter what. I'm not in this because I wanna consolidate my own power. I'm not in this because I'm interested in continuing a political career in Frankfurt. I got into this because I got laid off and lost my health insurance, and I wanna make sure that people have access to health insurance. And I live in a multi-generational home with lots of grandkids. I'm part of a childcare network. I know that it takes a village to raise these children. Um, these children that I love dearly, and I know most people are not lucky enough to have a huge family network that can pick up child's care for them whenever they need it. Um, I have been blessed with a significant amount of, um, education and resources, um, and a supportive family. Speaker 2 00:29:22 And yet I'm still finding myself in this situation where I'm probably not gonna be able to buy a home anytime soon. The idea of being able to afford a childcare bill of $10,000 a year or college education for a child is surreal to me, and I'm interested in investing in the next generation of Kentuckians. Um, and I don't believe that, um, my opponent, um, wants to do that. I believe that he is very much interested in consolidating his own power, making promises to groups here in Jefferson County and voting against their interests in Frankfurt. And I think that alone is disqualifying. Um, and I also think that it is, um, it's disqualifying to think that you can make better medical decisions for your constituents than they can make for themselves. I think that inherently goes against the, the interest of the public. And, um, I think that I can do a much better job representing them in Frankfurt. Speaker 1 00:30:25 Cool. Well, I have to say I'm very excited by your candidacy. I'm really excited that we got to do this, uh, interview together, and I'm looking forward to cheering for you on the night of the election <laugh> and being able to say yes. Kate Turner is now representative Kate Turner. Speaker 2 00:30:48 I look forward to that. Well, Speaker 1 00:30:49 Good luck and, uh, thank you for your time. Speaker 2 00:30:52 Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Thanks for having me on. Speaker 1 00:30:57 That was Kate Turner, one of the more impressive candidates I have ever interviewed. I am looking forward to being able to vote for her this coming Tuesday, and I hope if you're in her district that you will do the same. Remember, early voting starts Thursday, runs Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and then of course, the election is next Tuesday. As I mentioned earlier, we have a lot of different media offerings from Forward Kentucky. I hope you will take advantage of all of them. See you next week.

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