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Bill Young, democratic candidate for Kentucky's House District 58, held a press conference Wednesday to challenge incumbent Brad Montell to a series of four debates.
Two of the debates would be in Shelby County and two would be held in Spencer County, Young said, with one in each county being an open-ended forum allowing the audience to ask questions, which is something he thinks people want to be able to do.
"Too many people feel like that government is broken and offers them little help," Young said. "They feel like they have lost their voice, both individually and collectively."
Young, a Bagdad native, is a retired educator who has served as principal, counselor, teacher and coach. He is also an elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Shelbyville. He said at the press conference that he believes issues important to residents of Kentucky's House District 58 are education and the economy. He also thinks the general assembly needs to explore what can be done on a state-wide basis to help the elderly and the uninsured with health care.
Also at the press conference, he announced plans to hold a series of seven suppers in the two-county area. He plans "Beans with Bill" suppers in Shelbyville, Simpsonville, Waddy, Mount Eden, Taylorsville, Bagdad and Finchville.
"Day after day we are reminded just how difficult life in the nation and in the commonwealth has become," he said. "I am hearing this everywhere I go in this campaign. As a result, we are bringing our campaign to the people. I ask Brad Montell to debate me."
When contacted by The Sentinel-News, Montell, who was first elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2002, said he was not aware of the debate challenge.
"This is the first I've heard about it," he said. "I guess my initial response without having seen anything, is that we're going to be at the rotary club twice, and farm bureau does a public forum, so I think there's probably plenty of public debates going on now. But again, I don't know what he has in mind, so I don't really want to make a final comment other than we're already doing public forum."
Young said he would like to hold the debates before the general election on Nov. 4.
"We haven't set any dates yet, we're waiting to see what the Republican response is, and then what we intend to do is to sit down and iron out the details and schedule the debates," he said.