Candidates discuss women's issues

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Both Democratic candidate Ben Chandler and Republican Ernie Fletcher said they intend to appoint more women to leadership positions if elected governor.

That was just one sentiment as the state's gubernatorial candidates gathered at the Farnham Dudgeon Civic Center Saturday afternoon to discuss the economic status of women.

The Democratic and Republican nominees and one write-in candidate, Jeffrey Hillebrandt, competing for the state's top office, participated in the first gubernatorial forum since the primary election.

Members of 14 different women's organizations, which make up Women Vote 2003, were on hand to hear candidates' thoughts on such women's issues as equity, education and child care.

Topics were drawn from a recently released report on the economic status of women in Kentucky.

Chandler, the state's attorney general and a Woodford County resident, said he intends to abide by an executive order requiring that 52 percent - the population of women in Kentucky - of appointments to boards and commissions be women.

Fletcher, a U.S. representative from Lexington, also said women need to fill more leadership roles and said he favored laws to aid small businesses, which, he said, many women own. He made references to successful women from Kentucky, including Virginia Fox who recently retired as head of KET, and Franklin County Judge-Executive Teresa Barton who on Friday announced she was supporting Fletcher and was in the audience at the Civic Center.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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