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A second Anderson County Democrat has entered the race for the newly created state House of Representatives seat in the 53rd District.
Donna Drury, who is currently an elected member of the Anderson County Board of Education, said she filed her election documents earlier this month, joining fellow Democrat Kent Stevens in next May’s primary. The winner, if no other candidates file, would face Spencer County resident James Tipton, who is running as a Republican.
The new seat, created during redistricting earlier this year that forced current state Rep. Kim King (R-Harrodsburg) to run in another district, includes all of Anderson and Spencer counties and two precincts in Bullitt County.
Drury, who ran as an independent candidate for county judge-executive in 2010, said she considered running at that time for state representative, but knew that the two people vying for the seat — King and Stevens — would do a good job regardless who won.
“I thought they both did a great job,” Drury said. “Kim has left some big shoes to fill … I’ve talked her and gotten encouragement a lot of Republicans here and in the other counties.
“I thought this is the time.”
Drury said the 28 years she spent working in state government along with her experiences with the school board will make her a good state representative.
“A representative … as well as a senator, should be people that have the citizens’ best interest at heart,” Drury said. “They need to be public servants, and I have the heart of public servant.
“Working inside state government and seeing how laws are created and why … I understand all of that. I have a background in working with citizens — both in advocacy and with citizen complaints — and a lot of experience and knowledge in that area. I like to talk with people, finding out what their concerns are … that’s what’s important and that’s what I want to take to Frankfort.”
Drury said she expects the primary race between her and Stevens to be “exciting.”
“We go way back,” Drury said. “I consider him a friend and Mr. Tipton has already reached out to me and wants to talk about the needs of the district so whomever is elected will be best able to represent the district.”
Drury, a retired state employee, said she knows one of the biggest challenges ahead will be tackling the state’s underfunded retirement system.
“It concerns me very much,” she said. “Not just because I’m a state retiree, but many I know are now working in state government and I’m concerned about the way things are going.
“The people who are responsible for this and ensuring it gets resolved need to understand that retirees don’t have the option to seek employment elsewhere.
“I hope, if elected as state rep, I can have some input into helping take care of that problem.”