Independent candidate for House proposes 4 debates

State Journal Staff Report, Published:

An independent candidate for the vacant 56th House District seat proposed a series of debates Monday leading to the June 25 special election.

John-Mark Hack, a founding partner in Marksbury Farm Market in Lancaster and chairman of the anti-gambling group Stop Predatory Gambling, suggested a series of June debates in Franklin, Woodford and Fayette counties and on cn|2’s Pure Politics program, which is not broadcast in Frankfort but posts video segments on its website.

“I will work with the sponsoring organization and my opponents to develop a schedule of dates, times and places, as well as ground rules to govern the debates that are agreeable to everyone,” Hack said in a news release. 

“I believe that if we sincerely care about doing what is right by the people of this district and are all willing to put their interests first, we should have no problem quickly resolving any political concerns or logistical issues.”

Hack, 46, of Versailles, will face Democrat James Kay II, a 30-year-old Versailles attorney, and Republican Lyen Crews, vice president of business affairs at Midway College, in the special election to fill former state Rep. Carl Rollins’ post. Kay and Crews, 51, are chairmen of their respective parties in Woodford County.

The district covers Woodford County and parts of Fayette and Franklin counties.

Rollins, D-Midway, resigned in April after being named head of two agencies managing scholarships primarily funded by the Kentucky Lottery Corp.

Hack also challenged his opponents and their political parties to run issue-based campaigns and refrain from attack ads.

“This special election represents a special opportunity to elevate the political discourse in Kentucky politics,” Hack said in the release.

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