Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District Representative candidates on college-relevant issues

A voter inside of SKyPAC during the available early voting period. 

Maggie Thornton

Rep. James Comer is running for re-election as U.S. Representative for Kentucky’s First Congressional District against Democratic candidate James Rhodes.

The First Congressional District covers the western Kentucky cities Henderson, Hopkinsville, Madisonville, Paducah and Murray.


“We must ensure that we prioritize educating and training students for jobs in all professions and providing incentives for students to enter professions in need of qualified workers,” Comer said about the future of education in Kentucky.

Rhodes said his vision for education in Kentucky focuses on providing more incentives for teachers to ensure students have access to qualified individuals in the classroom. Rhodes said he thinks securing the future of the field for teachers is critical.

“Teachers are heroes for our children,” Rhodes said. “They have proven this in the past, certainly in the present, and the future of education is depending on them. They have to know that not only each state, but the government as a whole supports them and is willing to help.

“Our teachers have sacrificed for our children and grandchildren. It’s time we made the sacrifice for them.”


Comer does not support the Affordable Care Act.

“Our health care policy should focus on expanding diverse types of insurance plans, including allowing employees to pool resources toward association plans to achieve greater savings,” Comer said. “It is also important that we reduce prescription drug costs, which must be balanced with the ability for drug makers to continue innovating and developing life-saving treatments and therapeutics.”

Rhodes said he supports the Affordable Care Act.

“As with anything, I believe there is always room for things
to improve, but the program in general and the idea as a whole, I believe, was a step in the right direction,” Rhodes said. “Healthcare is very important to me. I believe that all Kentuckians need access to quality healthcare. No family should have to choose between feeding their family or paying for healthcare.”

Marijuana Legalization

Comer said he is open to legalizing medical marijuana, but he thinks it is critical to continue “to gather sound research demonstrating its true medical benefits.”

Rhodes supports legalizing marijuana, which he thinks starts with first legalizing medical marijuana.

“If we legalize medical marijuana, we are looking at not only an increase in jobs, but also an increase in tax revenue,” Rhodes said. “It’s time we stop letting big pharmaceutical companies make all the profits with the risk of side effects and give society the chance at a natural, effective alternative, and states can actually profit.”

Maggie Thornton can be reached at [email protected].