OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT)- Voters in Owensboro got an earful from candidates Thursday night. But alas, that was more or less the point of the Red, White, and Blue Picnic held on the Daviess County courthouse lawn as candidates running for offices ranging from family court judge to Judge Executive and from City Commission to Congress had a chance to make a last-minute appeal to voters before early, in-person, no excuse required, voting in Kentucky kicks off Nov. 3- five days before the Election Day itself on Nov. 8.
For some, it was a chance to learn more about the candidates and the critical issues of their campaigns. For others, it was a chance to meet their preferred candidates one last time before the election. Still, for some voters like Stephanie Ward- it was a chance to show the next generation what a democracy is all about.
Ward says she specifically wanted her kids to see Democratic Senate candidate Charles Booker, along with witnessing the political process play out. This way, Ward adds, they’ll have a better understanding of their role in the process when they’re eligible to vote.
While at least one candidate in each of the races on the ballot this November in Daviess County appeared at the forum- some candidates including incumbents U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie and Sen. Rand Paul did not appear. Booker says he’s not surprised Sen. Paul didn’t make it, saying the Senator “doesn’t show up for Kentucky.”
Still, local races like City and County Commission featured prominently throughout the forum. Some voters like Claire Schultz say they learned more about local issues- including a new boat dock. Schultz, 19, says she doesn’t necessarily understand why the need for a new dock exists- as she and her friends typically hang out at Target, adding she doesn’t personally know anyone with a boat.
Even with the local flavor of the forum, Schultz says she still would’ve preferred an even greater focus on local issues, not “side comments about the United States and worldview, maybe keep it in the city a little bit.”