Saturday, August 22, 2009

524. Tri-State Adventure

Admittedly, about 92% of the adventure was in one state, the good ol' Commonwealth of Kentucky.

My friend Montero and I took off to the east today to support the candidacy of my friend Robin Webb as she seeks the office of 18th District State Senator in northeastern Kentucky.

Heading east on I64, we journeyed through exurban Shelby County, past the Capital City and County along the banks of the Kentucky River, up the hills to the lush Bluegrass of central Kentucky, and up a little more into the western foothills of the eastern Kentucky mountains, through the velvetty green fields of Bath County (which always remind me of Ireland), and into the mountains of Rowan, Carter, and Greenup counties. We ventured off I64 and onto KY67 which took us over to US23 in Greenup County. Our first destination was a rally held at the Raceland/Worthington High School Auditorium in southern Greenup County on the old US23, called Greenup Avenue at that point.

Although six governor were supposed to have appeared, only four actually did. Kentucky governors Julian Carroll ('74-'79), John Young Brown ('79-'83), Brereton Jones ('91-'95), and Paul Patton ('95-'03) sat to the right side of the stage and each gave a speech, and amazingly they weren't all the same speech. Governor Brown touted the accomplishments of his administration, as well as those of his father and son, both of whom have served in elective office. [An aside, I remember old Mr. Brown from his race for Congress in the 1980s - I think he ran 10th. And I signed the filing papers for John the III in his race for Secretary of State in 1995]. Governor Jones was next who gave a speech appropriate for a horseman supporting a horsewoman in her bid for office. This race has a lot to do with passage of slots at racetracks around the Commonwealth, although none of those tracks are in the 18th Senate District. Governor Carroll, who now serves in the Senate, got up and said he was going to do something different, then proceeded to do what he usually does - he preached. He called it testifying. He may as well have been in a pulpit. But, he closed his sermonette by saying that the pulpit was no place for politics. For a conservative Democrat, he gave a very liberal sounding speech on the separation of church and state. Knowing that other than Lisa Tanner, I was probably the most liberal guy in the room, I was concerned on what he might have to say. As it turned out, I was about ready to yell, "Give 'em Hell Julian" as I wholly approved of his overtly religious and political message. Closing the quartet was Governor Paul Patton, the only one who is a native of the District, being originally from adjoining Lawrence County. Patton talked about the historic opportunity the voters in the 18th District have and one they should take very seriously on Tuesday the 25th which is Election Day.

The candidate herself then appeared and gave a lengthy and sometimes emotional speech giving encouragement to those in the room that now was the time to help change the State Senate and by doing so changing the Commonwealth. Governor Carroll then came back to mic to give us the charge of working the next four days to ensure a victory in the race. Onward Christians Soldiers, Marching As To War indeed.

Montero and I then travelled a few miles north (downriver) to Robin's HQ in downtown Greenup city, a sleepy little courthouse town on the banks of the O-Hi-O. We were given a precinct to walk several miles further north in the community of South Shore, which also lay along the O-Hi-O. South Shore is a gritty little burg of maybe 900 souls, most of whom vote Republican on federal races and Democrat on local ones - like so many other Kentuckians. The polling place for the Fullerton #1 precinct we were walking is the Youth Center of the First Church of God on Main Street. And the truth is, the polling place is within walking distance of most of the 900 people who make up the little town. We had split the precinct up with two other groups and knocking it out didn't take much. Hopefully, more than a handful of these folks will go vote on Tuesday.

Special Elections are notorious for low turnouts. As such, they are very unpredictable - they can go either way. Thus the importance of touching every voter possible, and the more times the better as the election approaches. My young friend Chad Aull (who will likely be a statewide candidate himself someday and one I will support) is running the campaign from Grayson in Carter County. Lisa Tanner, from here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606 is up there coordinating the GOTV effort. Their work should be success.

After walking our assigned precinct, we reverted to tourists, travelling back down (south) on US23 and crossing over the O-Hi-O into the state of O-Hi-O at the city of Ironton, Ohio. Ironton is an old long drawn-out affair of a rust-belt town on the riverbank which appears to have had somewhat better days many days ago - maybe. On the Ohio side of the river, we followed US52 East (actually south) out of Ohio, back across the Ohio, and into Huntington, West Virginia, just to say we did. Now headed west on US60 in W. Huntington, we came into the town of Ceredo, where US60 is called "C" Street, and from there into Kenova - Ken-O-Va , get it - where US60 runs along Oak Street. Eventually we crossed out of West Virginia, over the Big Sandy River, and into Catlettsburg, Kentucky at 35th and Louisa streets. A short drive south on Louisa returned us to I64, which in turn returned us to Louisville.

Good luck to Robin on her election on the 25th. Polls are open from 6am to 6pm.

Vote early; vote often.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Wow adventure i am very much interested in this thanks for sharing this event with us!!!
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The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.