Editor's note: A previous version of this story contained the wrong filing date. The deadline is Jan. 10.
An Anderson County resident has announced her candidacy for the state Senate District 7 race.
Katie Howard, 67, manager of Open Hands Pantry in Lawrenceburg, officially filed paperwork for the race on Nov. 7 in the state Capitol. She is the former vice president of operations for telecommunications giant Ameritech and has held management roles in real estate and church leadership. Howard also volunteers to serve the homeless and poverty-stricken, which is a strong passion of hers.
Howard is the president of Anderson County Republican Women and is on the board of the Kentucky Federation of Republican Women. She has not previously run for public office.
District 7 includes Franklin, Woodford, Anderson Owen and Gallatin counties. Democrat Sen. Julian Carroll, a former governor, currently represents the district. He announced earlier this year that he will not seek reelection.
Howard told The State Journal that she has “been interested in that seat for many years.”
She said that she had been hoping to meet Carroll while in office to discuss policy but hasn’t had the chance so far.
“I’m a big believer that representation means representation,” Howard said.
In the past few months, she’s been on a “listening tour” of sorts, and hopes to be in every county in District 7 during her campaign to hear from voters what the issues are. Howard said that she has already visited Rotary Club meetings, senior citizen centers, diners and gas stations to hear from an array of people.
Areas that interest her include development of the workforce and the breakdown of the family. She said she looks forward to exploring how students are prepared for the paths they choose after they graduate and how government can encourage a positive family unit.
Howard lives in Lawrenceburg with her husband, Bill, and moved to the area over a decade ago. She was born in New York but has lived in a few states, including Ohio and Illinois. She said the two chose Kentucky for the beauty of the area and the people.
Howard joins Frankfort Realtor and real estate appraiser Calen Studler in the Republican primary. Current state Rep. Joe Graviss, D-Versailles, also is seeking the seat.
The filing deadline to run for legislative seats is Jan. 10. The party primaries will be May 19 and the general election is Nov. 3.