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State rep candidates split on future of Clark development

State representative candidates Ryan Dotson and Jada Brady both want to see business reopen in Kentucky, but took different routes on how they want to see Clark County grow.

Dotson, the Republican party nominee, and Brady, who is running a write-in campaign, spent part of Monday evening in an online candidate forum hosted by the Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce.

Democratic nominee Kenny Blair did not participate in the online forum.

With a short legislative session coming in January, Dotson said he wanted to prioritize completing the Bypass around Winchester and pursuing new growth along the U.S. 60 corridor to Fayette County.

“We also need to expand U.S. 60,” he said. “We know Lexington is growing exponentially and they’re growing toward Winchester.”

The highway needs to be widened and infrastructure added to support businesses, retail and new housing, he said.

“We have some really great farmland and we’re growing toward Hamburg,” Dotson said. “We have neighbors that are doing really well.”

Brady said she was more interested in supporting the agricultural community in Clark County.

“I want to work with our farmers to protect our farmland,” she said. “Most of our farmers have to work several jobs in order to make it beneficial. Because of that, we’re losing our farmland because it is not beneficial to farm the land. They’re finding development and other things more financially beneficial to their families.”

Brady said she also wanted to work with the industrial development board to bring in more businesses.

Dotson and Brady, who both identified themselves as conservative Christians, said they agreed the biggest challenge for the upcoming session will be the economy and business climate.

“What I think is, as a businessman, we need to get Kentucky back open,” Dotson said. “We look at neighboring states and they are just doing so much better than we are. We need to be business-friendly. We need to look at our tax code and make it more attractive for businesses to want to come to Kentucky.”

Brady said her business climate concerns predated the coronavirus pandemic.

“My plan is to work with the Economic Development Cabinet as well as local and state level chambers of commerce to make business more attracted to Kentucky and our district,” Brady said. “We definitely need to work on getting businesses here in Kentucky.”

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0049.

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