Women take center stage in Ky. Senate, House races


by Claudia Coffey


Posted on March 24, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 24 at 6:40 PM

(WHAS11) -- Women are taking center stage not only in this year's Senate race but in Kentucky House races and many are being touted as possible contenders for the 2015 Gubernatorial Race.

Former Ambassador to Latvia Cathy Bailey hosted women from around the state at a luncheon, hoping to energize women to get involved in issues and potentially run for office themselves. Peggy Grande has lived a life that many historians could only dream of as special assistant to former President Ronald Reagan.

"It was a surreal experience and traveled with him a lot and was with him every single day," Grande said.

Working for one of the most influential leaders of our time, she has plenty of memories.

"There would be those moments where we would be riding in the car and I look back and I realize, here I am sitting next to Ronald Reagan in the back of secret service car. I kind of pinched myself and wondered is this real? Is this really my life?" Grande said.

But on Monday, March 24, she's here to deliver a message. Grande and Kelley Paul, wife of Senator Rand Paul, are the key note speakers at a luncheon organized by former Ambassador to Latvia Cathy Bailey, who is very involved in Kentucky state politics.

"I think there are a lot of issues that have women energized and I feel in 2014 they see that opportunity to make a difference," Bailey said.

This gathering of 70 women designed to energize women to get involved in politics and voice their opinions on issues that could shape future elections.

"As I have the opportunity to talk to various women's groups across Jefferson County, to move around the state of Kentucky, to talk to women around the country; We all share the same issues that we feel will affect our families and we need to see change," Bailey said.

Paul told this crowd specifically about her experience working in corporate America. She also spoke at length about the debate over health care and why she thinks the Affordable Care Act will be the big issue for women voting in the upcoming presidential election. 

"I think women are as fired up about these issues as men if not more so," Paul said.

Bailey is an often talked about contender for the 2015 Kentucky Governors race. She says she thinks Kentucky is ready for a change and hopes to have an opportunity to voice those thoughts and be a part of the conversation.

For now she's focused on the elections facing Kentuckians this year, in 2014.