February 24, 2024
A woman casts her vote at the Immanuel Church of Christ in Louisville during the 2022 primary election. May 17, 2022

A woman casts her vote at the Immanuel Church of Christ in Louisville during the 2022 primary election. May 17, 2022

Kentucky voters will cast ballots in the Nov. 8 general election. To help voters sort out who is running and their views, the Courier Journal emailed policy questions to candidates who are in contested races.

Below are the responses from the Kentucky state Senate candidates in the Louisville area.

More:On Election Day, you’ll decide whether to ban abortion in Kentucky. Here’s what to know

Kentucky Senate

6th District

Brian Joseph Easley (Write-in)

Age: 41

Occupation: Restaurant and real estate executive at Druther’s; documentary film producer

Contact info: https://easleyforsenate.org

Lindsey Tichenor (Republican)

No information submitted.

If Kentucky’s near-total ban on abortion remains in place next year, would you support legislation allowing exemptions in the law for pregnancies caused by rape or incest? 

Easley: “Yes. I’m against the ban in the first place, as I am pro-choice, and would at least hope that in a Commonwealth in which religiously inspired, state-mandated, forced-birth exists there would be exemptions for rape and incest.”

Are you in favor of legalizing and regulating either medical marijuana or recreational marijuana, and why? 

Easley: “Yes. Both on both. Cannabis prohibition should end. Kentucky should act robustly and lead the way in both hemp and cannabis, not remain flaccid and impotent with its prohibition. We should be regulating and taxing cannabis; generating revenue for the Commonwealth to serve its people. Bourbon, horses, hemp, and cannabis – it’s common sense.”

Would you support a “red flag” law allowing judges to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person deemed to be a danger to themselves or others? 

Easley: “Yes. If we are to actually maintain a well-regulated militia and honor the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – we must be able to regulate ‘the militia.’ In this scenario, a temporary action which would have to be authorized on a case-by-case basis through the Judiciary.”

More:Election Day is soon. Everything you need to know about voting in Kentucky

26th District

KAREN BERG (Democrat)

Age: 60

Occupation: State senator; diagnostic radiologist at University of Louisville Hospital

Contact info: Website: Karenforkentucky.com, Campaign Email: [email protected], Legislative Email: [email protected]

James Peden (Republican)

Age: 55

Occupation: JCPS teacher

Contact info: [email protected], pedenforsenate.com

If Kentucky’s near-total ban on abortion remains in place next year, would you support legislation allowing exemptions in the law for pregnancies caused by rape or incest? 

Berg: “Every woman deserves the right to control their own body. The ban passed by the Kentucky legislature is cruel and dangerous. I support repealing the trigger law in its entirety but at the very least, there should be exceptions for rape and incest, and the legislature has to act next year. I will continue to fight for the right to life-saving, legal, and affordable reproductive health care for everyone in Kentucky.”

Peden: “Perhaps, depending on timing.”

Are you in favor of legalizing and regulating either medical marijuana or recreational marijuana, and why? 

Berg: “Kentucky is one of the top producers of cannabis in the country – people are growing it, using it, and selling it, but because this is not being done legally, we are not generating the tax revenues of other states where it is. Given the safety profile of cannabis, I support the legalization of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational uses. We are behind many other states who have legalized and have reaped enormous economic benefits.”

Peden: “Yes to medical, probably to recreational depending on full bill and regulation. Need alternatives to big pharma and treatments for pain and PTSD.”

Would you support a “red flag” law allowing judges to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person deemed to be a danger to themselves or others? 

Berg: “Gun violence is an epidemic. As a doctor who works in an emergency room, I see the damage inflicted on victims and their communities — and the costs to taxpayers it incurs. I  support an individual’s right to bear arms, but we can pass gun reforms, like red flag laws, without infringing upon the Second Amendment. States with common sense gun legislation have less gun violence and spend less on gun violence than states that don’t.”

Peden: “No, these laws are already in place. Red flag laws serve to eliminate due process.”

More:Kentucky voters to decide if legislature can call own special sessions. What to know

For subscribers:Shepherd-Bilby: How money, politics could change the face of Kentucky judicial races

Reach reporter Joe Sonka at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @joesonka.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky election 2022: State Senate candidates on abortion, marijuana

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