Berea resident Phyllis Price says she could bring something to the U.S. Senate that incumbent Mitch McConnell could not: 57 years of middle-class living and experience living on a fixed income.
Price is seeking to challenge McConnell for his senate seat in her first bid for public office. She hopes to run as an independent, meaning she will need to gather a petition with 5,000 valid signatures to be placed on the ballot.
Price said she chose to run against McConnell because she doesn’t believe he cares about the middle class.
“I cannot recall a time where he has mentioned the words ‛middle class,’” Price said. “Now if he has, I just didn’t have my TV on, but to speak about the middle-class people, (McConnell) is not concerned about them. He’s concerned about the people who are paying him. He favors the upper rich and the fat cats.”
She said McConnell’s problem is that he has forgotten about the working men and women who sent him to Washington on their behalf as a representative.
Price described herself as a moderate, but she prefers to call her political philosophy “straight and narrow.” She has worked at the Internal Revenue Service as a data transcriber and formerly owned a private income tax business. She also has worked as a teacher’s assistant.
Price said the three most important issues for her are the economy, healthcare and social programs.
In the economic sector, Price said the “fat cats need to stop taking jobs overseas.”
“How can you create jobs?” she said. “If you create one over here, they (fat cats) take two overseas. As a senator, I would meet with these people and try to get them to see the middle class. They haven’t sat down with middle-class people.”
Price said she supports free healthcare for everyone.
“Why are we boasting that we’re the richest country in the world and we do not have free education and free healthcare?” she said.
However, Price said that if the country can’t implement free healthcare, the government should meet the people halfway, which she thinks the Affordable Healthcare Act does. She said she trusts President Obama’s judgement in regards to what healthcare policy is best for the country, and as a senator she would support him.
Price said a large concern for her is that many social programs in the country need to be expanded. More specifically, she said the time a person may claim unemployment benefits should be increased to allow people more time to find a good job. Special care should also be given to pregnant mothers and babies for the overall health of children.
To get the required signatures to be put on the ballot, Price said she plans on hosting several house parties so that county residents can meet her and speak with her before deciding to sign.
She’s being helped by several members of her family, including her granddaughter Jasmoen “Jazzy” Tate, 15, who wrote a song called “We Can” to serve as the theme song for Price’s campaign. Price’s daughter will be recording the song and creating a CD, which will be played at house parties during her campaign for signatures.
For more details about Price or her petition, visit www.phyllisprice.org.
Seth Littrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6623.