Minter vs. Jackson: Candidates talk District 20 representative race

Alexandria Anderson, Content Editor

This year, the November ballot will include the Kentucky state representative race for District 20.

Incumbent and Democratic nominee Patti Minter and Republican nominee Kevin Jackson will face off for the position.

In January, Kentucky was redistricted, establishing a new congressional map, despite Governor Andy Beshear vetoing the bill. District 20 resides within Warren County. Before redistricting, it consisted of much of central Bowling Green, but has since been pushed farther south.

Debra Murray

Patti Minter

Minter has represented District 20 since 2019, as well as teaching at WKU for 29 years. Her platform includes fighting for affordable healthcare, good-paying jobs, public education, workers’ rights, safe and affordable homes, steady retirement, common sense drug policies and equality for all, according to her website.

Minter said she is thankful for what she has achieved during her first two terms and hopes to continue working towards legislation benefiting her key issues.

Minter said she is most proud of the passing of 2021’s House Bill 95 that cut the cost of insulin to $30 for a 30 day-supply for those in-state and state regulated plans.

“When I’m reelected, I would like to finish this work by passing another insulin bill that will expand it to cover uninsured people and people on self insurance plans that are not currently covered by this law,” Minter said. “My goal is to ensure access to insulin for all people. But I’m also passionate about improving access to prescription drugs and having more affordable prescription drugs.”

Minter strongly believes that access to healthcare is a basic human right and the issue is one of her main passions. Minter also explained she was proud of a bill she originally introduced in 2020 as the “student loan borrowers bill of rights”, with the first half passing in the last session and another law signed into law by the governor that “regulates student loan processors in the state for the first time.”

“So now we have oversight over shady loan processors, and I’m currently working with administrative officials to write many of the provisions of my original student loan borrowers bill of rights into law through administrative regulation,” Minter said. “We’re starting to see that that’s coming to fruition as well.”

She believes her platform is important to college students because she understands what college students go through daily since she is a long-term member of the university community.

“This is something that I know well,” Minter said. “It’s what I’ve done for my entire professional life, and I will stand up and show up for you as a lawmaker. I voted ‘yes’ to funding higher education at a greater level for the first time since 2007. And that was a start. It’s not a finish. It’s a start. I’ll continue to do that, again, helping student borrowers who are struggling under crippling debt that compromises other life decisions they would be able to make later.”

Minter was also proud to have worked with Gov. Beshear to provide more good-paying jobs in Warren County. She explained another aspect of this is providing affordable housing to students who decide to stay in Bowling Green and once those jobs are filled, affordable housing is available. 

A main issue she has addressed within District 20 specifically is the legalization of medicinal marijuana. 

“I have voted ‘yes’ twice on medicinal marijuana,” Minter said. “The bill has died in the Senate both times, but I will continue to advocate that, to fight for it and to support it because it helps so many people who deal with health, PTSD, anxiety and there’s no reason [not to] at this point. The science is there.”

Minter has also been the primary sponsor for the statewide fairness bill, which guarantees the right to quality of access in housing, employment and public accommodations regardless of who they are or who they love. 

“I have long supported a fairness ordinance in Bowling Green,” Minter said. “[…] 24 cities in Kentucky already have that. It’s time for Bowling Green to be the 25th, but it’s also time for the entire state of Kentucky to make sure that equal rights are available. I always like to say ‘y’all means all’, and I mean that.”

Minter’s platform is focused on a variety of other issues as well, such as her passion for the funding of public education and adequate teacher compensation. She also values her role in negotiating the tornado recovery bill, in which recovery money will continue to come to Warren County until 2026.

Kevin Jackson

Jackson worked in the Warren, Barren and Edmonson county school systems for 32 years and currently works as a financial consultant in Bowling Green. His platform focuses on economic policy, workforce participation, infrastructure, public safety, education and limited government, according to his website

It is this experience in the workforce that has led him to his key values as a candidate.

“I am a candidate that plans to govern from the middle,” Jackson said via email. “From my experience, people are tired of the yelling from the far right and the far left and getting nothing done for them. I’m a middle class American with middle class family values. I’m a WKU graduate, a retired educator, husband, father and grandfather of four beautiful little ones. My goal is to keep Bowling Green and Warren County a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

One of Jackson’s core concerns is workforce participation. He stated that currently, 40% of work age adults in Kentucky are not working, and this is something he plans to tackle if elected.

“There are thousands of new jobs coming to the BG area, but without qualified employees willing to work these jobs will go elsewhere,” Jackson said via email. “We’ve got to come together and help people get back to work with the South-Central Workforce Development Board, Kentucky Career Centers, educators and business leaders.”

Another focus of his platform is education. He has given his life to education with his 32 years as a teacher, coach and guidance counselor, as well as serving on the Warren County School Board for the past four years.

“I have the experience needed to represent you in Frankfort,” Jackson said via email. “ I’ve had a seat at the table creating a $220 million dollar budget, and if elected I will have a seat at the table in Frankfort when important decisions impacting Bowling Green and Warren County are made. I have a pretty good feel for education, and we are lucky to have two great K-12 school systems, WKU and the South-Central Kentucky Community and Technical College, and they deserve a representative who will be supportive of their needs to help better prepare students for the many job openings in our area.”

Jackson also described his goal of increased public protection and support if elected. 

“Support for law enforcement and first responders are critical for a safe community,” Jackson said via email. “We saw the importance of these brave men and women during the tornado of 2021. There is nothing more important than the safety of our kids and grandkids.”

Jackson expressed excitement for his campaign and referenced his personal journey during the race.

“We are very excited about how our campaign is going,” Jackson said via email. “The 43,000 people in District 20 deserve someone in Frankfort who will have a seat at the table when important decisions are being made that affect our community. When I started this journey, I knew campaigning would test me mentally, physically, and spiritually, and it has. My wife, Debbie and I have met so many good people along the way.” 

He also stated his hopes for District 20 to give him their vote.

“We look forward to election day on November 8th and ask everyone that wants a candidate that will fight for them with honesty and integrity to Vote for Kevin Jackson,” Jackson said via email.

Content editor Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected]