RICHMOND — THE CANDIDATES
Rep. Rita Smart, D-Richmond
Rita Smart, 63, was elected to represent the 81st House District in November 2010, and is running for her second two-year term. Along with her husband, Richard, she owns the Bennett House Bed and Breakfast on West Main Street in Richmond. Prior to that, she was a county extension agent for Madison County from 1970 to 2005. The mother of two daughters, Smart served one term on the Richmond City Commission, 2008-10. From 2005 to 2009, she was the parttime Main Street Coordinator for Richmond. As of Oct. 22, Smart had spent $53,300.40 for the November election, according to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.
Mary McGill Long, R-Berea
Mary McGill Long, 61, served on the Berea City Council a number of years ago, but this is the first time she has run for a state-level office. She has always been active in her community through volunteering and serving on boards, including with the American Cancer Society and the Madison County Tax Assessment Board. Long also has been a Girl Scout leader.
Born and raised in Perry County, Long is married to Dr. Rob Long and has a son, a daughter and a stepson.
As of Oct. 22, Long had spent $1,845 in both her primary and general election campaigns, according to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.
“I’m not for raising new taxes,” Smart said. However, she feels the state’s tax system must be modernized.
“Historically, Kentucky has never had the revenue sources for the services people need and want.”
The current taxation system was instituted in the 1950s, and Smart pointed out that no business that is successful today is running on a business plan from 60 years ago.
Long also said she is against any tax increase for Kentucky residents unless there is a definite need. She described herself as a fiscal conservative and if elected, she would look at every cabinet and department in state government for problems related to expenditures. Long added that those issues must be resolved before looking at tax modernization.