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Warren County Teacher Announces Campaign for Kentucky Senate

Lisa Autry

A public school teacher in Warren County has launched a bid to unseat Kentucky State Senator Mike Wilson.  

Jeanie Smith is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 32rd district that covers all of Warren County.  At her campaign announcement Monday outside Cherry Hall at Western Kentucky University, Smith said the state must invest in working families. 

"Kentucky families are working hard and playing by the rules, yet the deck is stacked against us," said Smith.  "We deserve to live in a state where hard work is compensated with fair wages, and it's time that the wealthiest Kentuckians start paying their fair share."

Smith told WKU Public Radio that she thinks the current tax structure is unfair and wants to be part of the conversation when lawmakers address tax reform.

Smith also wants to use her frontline experience to improve education in the state.  She's a 7th grade social studies teacher at Drakes Creek Middle School, and says the recent passage of charter school legislation in Kentucky is one reason why she is entering the race.

"We have great schools here and we need to support our schools, and I'm very disappointed that our current Senator was one of the people who championed this bill."

Incumbent Mike Wilson, a Republican, chairs the Senate Education Committee.  He was first elected in 2010, and recently joined Senate leadership as Majority Whip. 

Smith, 36, is a wife and mother of two who's making her first run for public office.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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