The Richmond Register

Local News

July 15, 2014

Jensen’s ‘bus’ is filling up

Democrat opens campaign headquarters

LEXINGTON — LEXINGTON – A year ago, there weren’t many people on her bus, Elisabeth Jensen said Monday night as she opened her campaign headquarters.

But now, the Democrat who wants to unseat first-term U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Sixth Dist., said her campaign bus is a little more crowded.

“More people have gotten on the bus and made the ride a lot more comfortable,” Jensen told 50 or so supporters who attended the headquarters opening and signed a “Pledge to Reject Wasteful Perks.”

Jensen acknowledged some empty seats on the bus, but said she’s working to fill them. She’s encouraged by the recent decision by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to call the sixth district contest an “emerging race.”

On a recent trip to Washington to meet with the DCCC, Jensen, 49, said she was told she’s “made the race competitive.’’ And national party officials promised “we’re going to do whatever we need to do” for her to win, she added.

One person on Jensen’s bus already is Tim Gardner of Richmond. The disabled registered nurse has been making phone calls on Jensen’s behalf.

“I think she’s honest,’ Gardner said. “She doesn’t come across as a polished politician. She comes across more as someone who means what she says.”

Unlike many Democrats in red-leaning states, Jensen hasn’t shied away from support of the Affordable Care Act and its Kentucky franchise, Kynect. She told supporters Monday that Barr would repeal the ACA ― he calls it Obamacare ― and deny health insurance to nearly 500,000 Kentuckians who have signed up under the law.

She’s also running on many of the economic themes adopted by the Democrat at the top of this fall’s ticket: U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. Like Grimes, Jensen campaigns on middle-class, working-family issues such as the minimum wage and equal pay.

Jensen, who co-founded the non-profit Race for Education, once worked for large corporations. Monday she told supporters of the time she discovered that she was making less than a male counterpart who managed a much smaller division in the business.

Although she complained to her boss, Jensen said she liked her job and “put up with it.” However, she said that decision was “one of the worst mistakes I made in my career.”

Unsurprisingly, education is part of Jensen’s campaign pitch, promising “to provide the best education for our children.”

“And I will fight the irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthiest who need it the least,” she said.

Jensen’s “Pledge to Reject Wasteful Perks” is aimed at Barr, of course, and the Democrat said she will not abuse the congressional franking privilege as she claims Barr has in sending out “campaign style” mailers. The mailings cost taxpayers ― “that’s you,” she told the crowd ― $192,000. She also pledged not to fly first-class on trips from D.C. and to spend tax dollars frugally if elected.

Barr’s office on Tuesday denied the mailers were campaign materials. His staff provided examples of questionnaires asking sixth district residents how they would vote on issues before Congress. The office also produced a list of expenditures for constituent outreach efforts including telephonic town halls, the voter surveys, and meeting notices to show the $192,000 covers all constituent services, not just mailers.

“While Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama’s political playbook calls for attempts to distort Andy’s office spending, the truth is that Andy is one of the most transparent and accountable members of Congress who is committed to accessibility and providing greater service to his constituents,” said Catherine Gatewood, his communications director.

Jensen also accused Barr of conducting “closed door meetings with lobbyists” and promised to “publicly disclose my calendar” if elected.

Jim Smith, a registered Democrat and retired U.S. Postal worker from Versailles, said Jensen’s economic message should resonate with sixth district voters.

“If she puts her ideas out there, and if Democrats vote like Democrats, she’s got a good shot” at defeating Barr, Smith said.

But Jensen so far is well behind in the fundraising required to get her message out. Her newly hired finance director, Melanie McCormick, said Jensen will report raising just under $200,000 for the second quarter. But McCormick said the campaign expects “a huge third quarter” after the campaign has begun attracting interest and notice from Democrats in Kentucky and Washington.

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at


Text Only
Local News
  • 7-29 YMCA-Schools.jpg YMCA, county district to provide after-school care

    The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
    YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Lucille May 1.jpg Memories bloom in May’s garden

    After realizing a story was being written about 96-year-old Lucille May, tenants of Willis Manor gathered in the lobby to share stories about her.
    Affectionately called “Mamaw” by other residents and workers at the apartment building, May has spent the four years of her residence transforming an outdoor garden that was overtaken by weeds. It’s now a thriving flowerbed, complete with interesting rocks, decorations and conversation.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Construction 1.jpg Water Street storm-water digging begins

    Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
    Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Robert Abney.jpg RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home

    Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
    Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
    They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Steven Coffey.jpg Two led police on I-75 chase from Berea

    Berea Police found a man passed out and intoxicated inside his crashed vehicle on Interstate 75 Wednesday, according to a police report.
    Steven Coffey, 34, of Berea, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet when officers arrived at the vehicle, the police report stated. They determined he was under the influence of drugs, the report stated.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-27 Hops 1.jpg Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society

    Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.

    July 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Bill Clinton will stump for Grimes in eastern Kentucky

    Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    Former President Bill Clinton will join Grimes on Aug. 6 for a campaign rally in eastern Kentucky, according to a campaign official who would provide no further details.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-26 Stockyards 2.jpg Cattle farmers enjoying ‛perfect storm’

    Demand is up, and cattle are selling for record prices.

    At the same time, corn prices are down and fuel prices have stabilized.

    That adds up to a “perfect storm” for Kentucky cattle farmers, said Gary Kelly of Paint Lick as he ate lunch Friday with his brother Jimmy at the restaurant across from the Blue Grass Stockyards.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-26 Fire Practice Structure 1.jpg Fire training tower going up

    A new training tower for the Richmond Fire Department is rising on Four Mile Road.

    Construction began Thursday on the four-story, steel-framed structure.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

     View Results