The Richmond Register

November 4, 2012

Reed seeks to unseat incumbent Mayfield in 73rd District

By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — THE CANDIDATES

Rep. Donna Mayfield, R-Winchester

Donna Mayfield, 57, is running for her second term representing the 73rd District, which includes all of Clark County and a portion of northern Madison County. In the 2010 election, she defeated Democratic incumbent Don Pasley by a margin of 810 votes. Although Mayfield took Clark County by about 100 votes, she got 707 more votes than Pasley in northern Madison.

Prior to winning the 2010 election, Mayfield worked for the U.S. Marshals Service for 26 years, the last decade of which was spent as an administrative officer.

As of Oct. 22, Mayfield has receipts totaling $60,023 for both her primary and general election campaign funds, and she has disbursed $48,783 according to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

JoEllen Reed, D-Winchester

JoEllen Reed, 59, was born and raised in Clark County. She is a retired elementary school teacher, having received her bachelor’s and master’s degree as well as her Rank 1 from Eastern Kentucky University.

Reed also worked for three years as the ombudsman for the Kentucky Department of Education, and currently works part-time as the director of advocacy and community relations for the Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

Reed served as Winchester’s vice mayor for four terms, and she is currently a Clark County commissioner.

As of Oct. 22, Reed has receipts totaling $163,100 for both her primary and general election campaign funds, and she has disbursed $102,869, according to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

THE ISSUES

Taxes:

Reed said she “eagerly awaits” the report coming this month from the state’s Blue Ribbon tax reform committee that is looking at ways to modernize the system. If elected, she said she would definitely want to looking at overhauling the states’ tax code, which hasn’t been reformed since the 1950s.

The goal of tax modernization, Reed said, is to establish a “long-term, sustainable tax base.”

“But we don’t need to be raising taxes,” Reed said.

Mayfield agreed that tax modernization is an important issue, and she hopes to spend the next two years working to solve the problem.

She noted that better prioritization of funds, rather more taxation, is also key to solving the state’s financial woes.

“I don’t think we need more taxes,” Mayfield said.

Healthcare:

Although state-level representatives and senators did not vote on the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” many of its directives must be implemented by the state.

“It’s not all bad,” Mayfield said, but she is worried about the costs to set up a state health exchange as required by the law. She said it would cost the state $515 million.

“I have grave issues with that,” Mayfield said.

She wants certain parts of the ACA repealed, but she said the state needs to look for ways to improve insurance options for Kentuckians.

Reed said the ACA is a complex bill, but she supports the state running its own health exchange.

Reed serves on the Clark County Board of Health and has seen first-hand the changes brought about by Gov. Beshear deciding to bid Medicaid oversight out to three private Managed Care Organizations. One of those MCOs announced last month it was backing out of its contract because the model was not sustainable.

The Medicaid budget needs to be studied again, Reed said.

Fighting drug abuse:

“Anyone that doesn’t think we have a drug problem is totally out of touch with reality,” Reed said.

She supports House Bill 1, which was passed this year, and is often referred to as the “pill mill bill.” The bill requires more tracking of medications that are often abused.

As Reed has campaigned door-to-door in Madison and Clark counties, several people have had concerns about the bill affecting patients who need those medications. Reed acknowledged there are “more law-abiders than law-breakers” in the community, so she would look at what changes needed to be made with the bill.

Mayfield was one of 13 state representatives who did not vote on the bill April 20 when it was passed, according to the Legislative Research Commission roll call. Sixty-eight representatives voted for the bill, 19 voted against it and none abstained.

“It’s tying the hands of good doctors and getting in the way of caring for patients,” Mayfield said.

More doctors are afraid to write certain prescriptions, making it difficult for law-abiding Kentuckians to obtain medication. Mayfield pointed out the similar practice of tracking over-the-counter pseudoephedrine, which has been done in Kentucky for several years, has had little affect on illegal methamphetamine production.

“It’s not going to deter illegal drugs out there,” Mayfield said.

She had proposed a smaller-scale bill that would combat the illegal prescription drug trade but not be as restrictive as the current bill.

Mayfield also opposes any effort to make pseudoephedrine a prescription-only medication.

Education:

Mayfield said improving education in this state must start at the most basic level.

“My focus is on the classrooms,” Mayfield said.

She said funding is always a problem but eliminating “top-heavy expenses” in local school districts will free up more money for the classrooms.

Reed’s background is in education, so she said she feels strongly about improving public schools.

“We cannot keep taking money from education,” Reed said.

She would like to serve on the Education Committee if elected, and she also would like to focus on improving funding for post-secondary schools.

Both Mayfield and Reed support finding a way to fund full-day kindergarten in Madison County.

“If we start off on the wrong foot, it’s hard for our young ones to catch back up,” Reed said.

This election:

“It has been an honor to be a part of the legislature,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield said she has gained personal satisfaction by helping her constituents cut through Frankfort’s red tape to get problems solved.

“We’re all Kentuckians and we’re all struggling with the same issues,” Mayfield said.

She also is pushing for more transparency in state government, adding she does not approve of writing a bill at 3 a.m. and then having a vote on it the very next day.

“The citizens of Kentucky deserve better than that,” Mayfield said.

Reed highlighted her experience when explaining why she would best represent the 73rd District.

“I have nearly a decade of experience serving local government,” Reed said. “... I have always been there for my people.”

Despite the divide between Democrats and Republicans on several issues, Reed said she represents all people all of the time. Her position as Winchester’s vice-mayor was a nonpartisan office.

“We have to do the right thing, regardless of party,” Reed said. “We have to do what’s best for the Commonwealth.”

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

 

CORRECTION (published Nov. 5, 2012):

In Saturday’s front-age article, “Reed seeks to unseat incumbent Mayfield in 73rd District,” it was erroneously reported that Mayfield voted against House Bill 1, also known as the “pill mill bill,” during the 2012 special session. According to the vote roll call provided by the Legislative Research Commission, Mayfield was one of 13 state representatives who did not vote on the bill when it was passed April 20. Sixty-eight representatives voted for the bill, 19 voted against it and none abstained.