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Kentucky senate candidates talk platform, policy ahead of special election

On Feb. 21, voters will elect a new state senator to fill the vacancy left by now-Congressman Morgan McGarvey.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Next month, Kentucky Senate District 19 voters will pick their new state senator, filling the seat left behind by Congressman Morgan McGarvey.

The race pits Republican candidate Misty Glin against Democrat, and current Metro Councilwoman, Cassie Chambers Armstrong (District 8).

RELATED: Special Election Voter Guide; What you need to know

"I am going to do everything I can to fight for your family and in turn I will be fighting for my family," Glin, a Louisville-native and JCPS parent, said of her own desires for the office. 

"I relate to so many issues that working families in our community are living because that's what I'm living too," Chambers Armstrong, who is from eastern Kentucky and also has young children, said. 

Glin most recently ran for Jefferson County Board of Education and said education would be her top priority if elected. 

She says she would push for anti-bullying legislation, inspired by her son's experience in JCPS, enhanced school safety and parents' rights measures.

“We have to have school choice, we have to give parents back their parental voice in their children’s education we have to hire and retain teachers," Glin said, adding she's also focused on economic development and crime. 

“I don’t think it’s a gun problem, I think it’s a criminal problem," she said. "We have these low and no bail standards and we have to eliminate them, we have to eliminate them and make the punishment fit the crime." 

Chambers Armstrong said her focus is on issues impacting working families. She would advocate for universal pre-K and affordable health and child care.

“A lot of these are things we can get bipartisan support behind," she said. "It’s things like making sure children have access to universal pre-K, making sure families can afford and get access to daycare, making sure every family in Kentucky can afford healthcare." 

Chambers Armstrong also noted her two years on Metro Council have prepared her for Frankfort. 

"Good legislation is produced by a process that listens to everyone and listens to every voice and brings in people that might initially be critical," she said. 

The winner would join the General Assembly, currently in the 2023 session.

The two candidates agree on the key issue of medical marijuana legalization. 

Glin, who works in pharmaceuticals, believes Kentucky is behind, but recognizes some current Republican state senators might disagree. 

“Medical marijuana is helpful to people who have chronic pain, who have cancer," she said. “Even though I’m a Republican, I’m still very independent. I believe what I believe and I very seldom can be swayed." 

Both candidates also support sports betting, though they differ on Republican-led efforts to lower the state income tax. 

Glin, falling with party lines, supports the measure, which passed out of the House last week. Chambers Armstrong, on the other hand, has concerns. 

"I'm very concerned about legislation that gives away our money primarily to wealthy families while making it harder for working families to meet their needs," Chambers Armstrong said. 

The special election is just a month and a half away, giving the candidates a short window to make their cases to the voters of District 19. 

"I'm just like the voters, I'm not a career politician, I wasn't born rich, I just am a concerned citizen who wants better for the community," Glin said of why she wants the job. 

"I have a proven record as an effective legislator, I have worked on issues that help working families here in Louisville, I'm excited about the opportunity to build on this work in Frankfort," Chambers Armstrong said. 

The special election for the District 19 seat is set for February 21st. 

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