The bitter obstructionism plaguing Frankfort ripped a large hole in the Democratic Party's House majority in 2004 when voters handed Kentucky's Republican minority a net of seven new seats in the lower chamber. Rudderless Democrats nearly toppled their Speaker, then passed their long-overdue budget in this year's session.
GOP strategists have long considered the House a two cycle opportunity for creating a majority. Democrats cooperated nicely by childishly refusing budget meetings and shutting down even the simplest of Governor Fletcher's re-organization bills. Several times during the 2004 election season, observers wondered how House Speaker Jody Richards (who didn't face opposition in 2004) would fare in an electoral challenge given his role in the imploding Democrats' declining support with voters.
They will soon have an answer.
Bowling Green Attorney JB Hines has filed his intention to run against Jody Richards in the Novermber 2006 election. Hines brings a wealth of knowledge to his bid for the House. As a young man, he worked in Japan teaching English. He has a masters degree in Public Administration from Western Kentucky University in addition to his law degree from University of Louisville. Hines serves on the Government Relations Committee of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and practices law with the firm Travelsted and Crocker in Bowling Green.
Mr. Hines will be my guest this afternoon on WEKY 1340 AM to discuss his candidacy and it's statewide implications. The program airs from 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm.