Alumnus, music teacher, city commissioner: William Compton runs as first openly gay candidate for 2nd District

William Compton, commissioner of Plum Springs, is the first openly gay candidate for Kentuckys second congressional district.

Provided by William Compton

William Compton, commissioner of Plum Springs, is the first openly gay candidate for Kentucky’s second congressional district.

Makaio Smith, News Reporter

William Compton, 28, is the youngest city commissioner in the history of Plum Springs, Kentucky. He’s also the first openly gay commissioner and current candidate for Kentucky’s second congressional district.

Compton, a WKU alumnus who teaches music at Warren East High School, Warren East Middle School and four elementary schools, decided to run for the House because of his students. 

“It broke my heart to come back to my Alma Mater and see the same problems still going, sometimes worse than before,” Compton said in an email. “Things should have changed for the better by now. I am running for them!”

Compton sees his students as his own children and wants to fight to ensure his students and their families don’t have to go through the same struggles he faced. While he has faced his share of discrimination, he does not let it hold him back.

My sexuality does not impact my teaching career at all,” Compton said. “My students only care about one thing when it comes to my outside life: Am I happy? As long as I am teaching my students music, I do not mind what anyone else is saying.”

Compton said he is the best candidate for the job because knows what needs to be fixed, and how to fix it, when it comes to issues that affect the people of Kentucky.

“When you come from a wealthy background, you forget the problems working class citizens face,” Compton said. “I know the struggle our hardworking families are facing, and I intend to make life better for them all. This is why I am the best candidate in the race.”

Compton’s main goal is to make life better for the people of Kentucky, accomplishing this in part by focusing on affordable healthcare.

“When it comes to healthcare, I would make sure that anyone in the United States of America can afford healthcare without the fear of going into massive medical debt,” Compton said.

Compton believes another way to ensure prosperity for Kentuckians is by fighting the global climate crisis.

“With our climate, I will fight to bring about many renewable energy sources into our Commonwealth,” Compton said. “These energy sources will create facilities that will ensure safe, long-lasting jobs that will make America energy independent. This will also help clean up our carbon emissions and help ensure the future generations have a clean and sustainable planet to enjoy for many many years.”

The third goal of Compton’s platform is ensuring that every working Kentuckian is paid a living wage.

“In Bowling Green, Kentucky, a single adult with no children would have to work 40 hours a week every week of the year making $13.89/hour to have a living wage,” Compton said. “Add in a child, and it goes up to $27.90. Two working adults with a child, the living wage would be $15.35/hour. Our current minimum wage does not cut it. We need, at least, $15/hour minimum wage in Kentucky to help our already overworked citizens.”

Compton first got involved with politics during the 2016 election after hearing from both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. He decided he needed to pay more attention to what was being voted on by both local and state governments. 

“From there, I started to do research. The results horrified me,” Compton said. “After seeing how a lot of our congressional leaders, including Brett Guthrie, voted on many issues, I wanted to make a change. In 2020, I decided to run a write-in campaign for the City of Plum Springs. Once elected, it was just uphill from there.”

One of the biggest things Compton has tackled during his time as city commissioner is transparency within local government. 

“I have created a Google Site that is Google searchable that informs the people of what goes on in the city,” Compton said. “I have also been fighting to ensure our residents’ voices are heard, even if they are not at the meeting as well as giving them opportunities to speak on issues. I am ensuring that all citizens are notified about big issues in the city and that their voices are welcome at our meetings.”

Compton shares the Democratic side of the ticket with fellow musician Hank Linderman. Brett Guthrie, the incumbent 2nd District representative, is running for re-election on the Republican ticket. Other Republican candidates include Brent Feher and Lee Watts. The primary will be held on May 17 and the election is scheduled for Nov. 8.

News Reporter Makaio Smith can be reached [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @MakaioSmith.