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Republicans, Democrats vying for John Yarmuth’s 3rd District seat lay out their policies | Politics

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Two Democrats and seven Republicans will be on the ballot to be Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district U.S. representative when voters go to the poll May 17.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth has held the seat since 2007. He announced last fall he would not run for re-election. Historically, this is the only Democratic representative in the U.S. House from Kentucky.

Democrats:

  • State Senator Morgan McGarvey
  • State Representative Attica Scott

Republicans:

  • Darien Barrios
  • Daniel Cobble
  • Mike Craven
  • Justin Gregory 
  • Rhonda Palazzo 
  • Gregory Puccetti
  • Stuart Ray

The Louisville Forum hosted the Democrat candidates Wednesday in an hour-long forum. Questions were submitted from citizens who came to the event. You can listen to the full forum below:

During Wednesday’s events, both candidates highlighted their experience in Frankfort for their Congress campaign. McGarvey touted his role as minority floor leader in the Senate.

“I think we need someone who is going to go and stand up — whether the majority or minority — stand up for our values, fight for people but always be willing to listen, to listen to every person in every community, find solutions and move us forward to actually get things done,” McGarvey said.

Scott focused on her trailblazing role as the first Black woman in the Kentucky legislature in 20 years and representation in politics.

“Until we get more people in office who reflect the reality of folks every single day who don’t have the privilege of connecting to folks with names or money or who have positions, things are going to remain the same,” she said.

Both also answered questions like what piece of legislation in the Kentucky legislature they’re most proud to have worked on, could they work in a possibly Republican majority if the U.S. House were to flip and questions on immigrants and the economy.

On the Republican side, WDRB News asked each candidate three hot topic questions and why voters should vote for them:

Darien Barrios 

Q: As the national abortion debate continues, what’s your stance on the issue? Would you support Senator McConnell’s proposed federal ban if Roe V Wade is overturned?

“I’m pro life. So I’ support any law against the abortion. So, any people who support the abortion, I mean, that is not my line. I’m staying on the same thing: ‘Everybody has a right to live.’ So those people who come to the world, they need to have the opportunity to be born. So I support every prolife project of law to to protect the newborn and the mothers.”

Q: Inflation is pinching wallets, how would you prefer the country attempt to help?

“The number is so high right now. The taxes is so high for everybody, and that affects the pockets for everybody. So the idea is to we can lower the taxes, and we can support the small business in our city. That can be more people working, more money in the pocket. … So, here in Louisville and everywhere, you can lower the taxes, you can hire more people and you can pay more salary. So that means we have more jobs, more people without unemployment, and every city in the United States, they can grow their economy. So, that is the only way to control the inflation right now in the United States. … And we send the money for another country, for example, Ukraine, to the war. What about the U.S. people? What about the United States people over here? You are sending the money for the taxpayer, and they need more money in the United States. We have a national security crisis right now, with the south border. And the Biden administration, they will do nothing about it. The inflation, the immigration system and everything is in crisis right now. And we are suffering that kind of issue in the United States.”







Darien Barrios

Darien Barrios


Q: Gun violence is still prevalent in Louisville and across the country. How would you want crime addressed?

“Well actually Louisville needs 400 officers right now. … So, the idea to control the crime in Louisville … we can hire more people who want to become a police officer. That is the only way to control the crime in Louisville. … I remember when I came 15 years ago, Louisville was a quiet city. And right now, we have high crime in Louisville: drug traffics, assault, homicide. So, that is the only way. We can’t defund the police. That is one many organizations say. They want to defund the police. We can’t defund the police. We need to support the police. We need to secure our streets. We need to secure the schools. Everybody saw what’s going in Louisville in the last month with the (shooting at a school bus stop.) There is no fair for nobody. There is no fair for our children. They deserve a safe place like schools and school bus and everything. They deserve this the safe neighborhood and for everybody in the world. So, that is the idea. The only way to control the crime in the city, we need to hire more people. We need a consequence government in the city, because I think they tried to fix something else and they don’t take care about the the crime in Louisville. So, that is the idea. My idea is try to work with everybody in Louisville in the state with the government, with the sheriff and with everybody. But we can’t defund the police. We need to hire more people to one become a police officer in Louisville.

Q: Why should people vote for you?

“Right now, our city is in danger with socialism. We have indoctrination of the school with the socialism. My community, the Cuban community, … we know what’s going on with socialism when we come to the society. They destroy the family. They destroy the society and they destroy the country. And we don’t want to let that happen the United States. We need to save America from socialism. We need to save our children from socialism. We need to protect our constitution. We need to protect our taxpayer and everybody in the United States, our borders. They deserve a great nation under God. That is my campaign. We need to save America from socialism. Because right now, we are in danger. We know what’s going on, like Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. We don’t want that to happen in the United States.”


Daniel Cobble

Q: As the national abortion debate continues, what’s your stance on the issue? Would you support Senator McConnell’s proposed federal ban if Roe V Wade is overturned?

“Abortion is a public health issue. I am trying to convey to my Republican colleagues that banning abortions is not practical, because women, for many reasons, will get abortions. If banned, we will return to the days of underground abortion procedures that lead to death and injuries to women, of which the public will again demand abortion clinics. I am proposing the critical counseling care with four elements. No. 1, abortion only within the first trimester. No. 2, the mother should inform the father of the intent to abort. No. 3, allow the expertise of pro-life advocacy to counsel the mother on the consequences of aborting the child, as many women later have regrets. And No. 4, to allow pro-life advocacy to the option of adoption for taking the child full term.”

Q: Inflation is pinching wallets, how would you prefer the country attempt to help?

“I am addressing the problem of stopping the Federal Reserve antitrust violations that causes the high-rent crisis that will also lead to reducing prices and taxes.”







Daniel Cobble

Daniel Cobble


Q: Gun violence is still prevalent in Louisville and across the country. How would you want crime addressed?

“We need to reduce the violence on primetime television that promote guns to solve problems. Then to promote fatherhood as a matter of public policy in many creative ways. Enforcing the no attainder clauses in the U.S. constitution will keep inmates connected to their families in communities. This, in itself, will have its own rehabilitative effect upon inmates. And providing no-fee child care will reduce the stress on mothers and parents and grandparents volunteering as aids to teachers in schools has proven to reduce violence.”

Q: Why should people vote for you?

“Well, I understand the issues and I have been defining the issues — corrective policies and laws in government — for years now. And, you know, that makes me qualified. I’m going around the city, talking to many voters on both sides of the aisle, and 90% of them have essentially the same bread and butter concerns that I am addressing, and they are reflecting this back for me the same.


Mike Craven

Q: As the national abortion debate continues, what’s your stance on the issue? Would you support Senator McConnell’s proposed federal ban if Roe V Wade is overturned?

“Yes, I would support a federal ban. I’m a true Catholic. I know my catechism and Canon Law teaches me that God infuses a soul into a person at the point of conception. That’s our belief. We can’t prove it. But I do know that when a human heart starts beating, you do have a human life. That’s the human heart beating in there. So therefore, yes, I do support it.”

Q: Inflation is pinching wallets, how would you prefer the country attempt to help?

“I will do exactly what Donald Trump did. This is a great question. What did he do? Well, the president before him said, ‘Well, we lost a lot of these jobs, and it would take a magic wand to bring back.’ Well, Donald Trump must have had a magic wand because he brought them all back. Inflation was down to the lowest it’d been in 45-50 years, remember? So, therefore, then COVID hit, and we had to shut the country down. Nobody knew what we had. Nobody knew, you know/ We didn’t know how many. We never knew how many people were dying in China. We’ll never know. I believe it was millions, but you don’t know. Therefore, so we had to shut it down. Now, summer of 2020, we were starting to come out of it. By fall 2020, we should have stopped the spending, cut it out, put the people back to work, bring all of our industries back, you know? We need to put tariffs on the incoming products from China and everywhere else, Korea, you name it. OK, major tariffs on them like they’re doing to us. We need to put America back to work. We need to get incentives to get them back to work. We need to stop printing money that we cannot backup at the Federal Reserve. It’s so simple. It really is. Quit playing politics with people’s jobs. … and put America back to work.”







Mike Craven

Mike Craven


Q: Gun violence is still prevalent in Louisville and across the country. How would you want crime addressed?

“I would put a body or a committee of people together — local, state and federal elected officials, local, state and federal law enforcement officers, local and state psychologists and psychiatrists as well as as social workers and the people in the community, whether it be west Louisville, southwest Louisville, east, it don’t matter — and we would sit down as a committee of people and we worked these problems out. We need to build our trust between the people and law enforcement again. Our police officers need to know that when they go to a hostile environment, OK, that they are protected. And right now, they don’t feel that way. You don’t defund the police. You reform the police. You don’t let a few bad apples spoil for the whole bunch. So therefore, you reforming the police department. Get the ones that are really wanted — good police officers, keep them there. The other ones, find another career. But we need to rebuild the trust between the community to people into police officer. And then get to drugs and guns off the streets. And how we do it is we … I know a good man that I really cherish. His name is Rev. Dr. Charles Eliot, King Solomon Baptist Church, and he has a good slogan, and I love it. And he taught me what a friend is. A friend is somebody stands with you no matter what. But anyway, his slogan is, ‘You don’t need drugs and a gun. You need Jesus and a job,’ And it works. We need to restore the dignity and respect of human life at the point of conception, throughout all of life and all segments of life itself.”

Q: Why should people vote for you?

“OK, this is the reason why. It’s been said that a son’s heartbeat was in his mother’s heart. My heart beats with my mother in heaven, very most holy. And a daughter’s heart beats within her father’s heart. She’s daddy’s little girl. I give you my word where I stand that got my constitution on me. I’ll support and defend this constitution. Seven articles and 27 amendments, mainly the second one. The second protects the first. Without the right to keep and bear arms and form of militia, you cannot protect the first one. I will protect them, OK? You cannot measure to get the depth or the greatness of a father’s love for his children, much less father for his daughter. She’ll be always daddy’s little girl. I will protect life itself in and out of the womb, in and out of the home, in and out of schools and of our churches or synagogues or mosque, our community as a whole. I’ll protect life. Life is sacred. … Remember, I worked for Ford Motor Company, OK? I was a union labor leader at one time. I know fair duty representation. I’ve done it. I practiced it for eight years at Ford Motor Company. I was reelected three times. I can pull that 30% of the labor union vote — the moderate, not the far left liberal but the moderate — and I can win this election in November. And I can help to city. I can work with any mayor you want me to work with. I knew most of the mayors. I know Greg Fischer. I know the mayors of St. Matthews Rick Tonini, Bill Dieruf, we grew up together, and all the rest of them. I can work across the board. I’ve done it. I’ve been taught how to do it.”


Greg Puccetti

Q: As the national abortion debate continues, what’s your stance on the issue? Would you support Senator McConnell’s proposed federal ban if Roe V Wade is overturned?

“I’m definitely pro-life and I was raised Catholic. As Catholics, we believe that life starts at conception. I know everybody is not Catholic. But I think most people can agree that there should be some limits on abortion. As far as the federal ban, I don’t think it’s the federal government’s job to weigh in on this. I think it should be a state’s issue. … Obviously, Kentucky just passed a 15-week abortion ban, so you could get an abortion up to 15 weeks. And then after that, then it’s, I believe, it’s just medical necessity. So, most of the arguments that people have against abortion and fretting that there’s going to be an abortion ban if Roe was turned to overturned, those are unfounded. Because I don’t think the mood of the public is that way. I think that the 15-week, at least for now, is reasonable. It doesn’t hurt women who, you know, they make the argument raping and says, ‘Well, you have 15 weeks to figure that out if you’ve been raped or not.’ And so I don’t think there’s an issue with that. So, yes, I’m for the 15-week abortion ban that Kentucky currently has.”

Q: Inflation is pinching wallets, how would you prefer the country attempt to help?

“Well, first of all, we have to recognize why inflation is here in the first place. And it ties directly back to Democrat policies, where they’re just pumping money into the system. I heard the Democrat candidates here and John Yarmuth — I can’t think of his name — He was on Terry Meiner’s show and he was advocating that the United States could just print as much money as they want. And I believe he’s in charge of the budget committee. So, you could see that is a direct cause of inflation, and everybody saw it coming. So, the policy of the Democrat Party has been for big government and more spending, and that’s directly a reason why we have the high inflation that we have today.”







Greg Puccetti

Greg Puccetti


Q: Gun violence is still prevalent in Louisville and across the country. How would you want crime addressed?

I’ve seen — just for example, in the school system — when you’re soft, people take advantage of the rules. The students, I mean, it works both ways. You don’t want to stigmatize them for life but you have to make sure that they know that the rules are there for a reason that need to be followed. They lacked or they slacked off on enforcing rules over the last couple of years in schools, and the kids have been running amok in the schools. And I’m talking about JCPS schools. And the same is true in society. So, you’re teaching them all this wrong lessons, that they can do what they whatever they want. And then when they get out to the real world, they just continue that behavior of just doing whatever they want. And guess what happens you know? They they get caught and then they are in prison. And I think the while it sounds good about all those policies of understanding the criminals, the prison system and the police are there for one main reason, and the main reason is to separate people who are hurting society from the rest of society. Now, of course, in the prison system, we don’t want people with high recidivism rates. So, we might, of course, try to rehabilitate people, give them skills so when they come out, they’re OK. But, the main problem that I see, especially with the recent spike in crime, is that the criminals realize that it’s just a revolving door, that nothing’s going to happen. So that’s what needs to change.”

Q: Why should people vote for you?

“I think if you look at my record, both in the military and in teaching, I’ve got experience on a lot of the issues that are concerning the United States today. Education, I think, is one of the biggest issues, and the people in the education establishment are constantly telling politicians and people that you don’t need to listen to politicians because they don’t know what they’re talking about. Well, I’ve got the 27 years of teaching experience. I have a PhD in education. I could stand toe-to-toe with them and correct their erroneous ways. And then also, with economics, it’s the policies of just continually spending and deficit spending. It’s going to destroy the country, and not even just country the entire world. The world is based on the U.S. Dollar as a reserve currency. And if we mess with the U.S. dollar, then it’s going to cause inflation like we are now. It’s gonna lose confidence in the dollar, and the world economy is going to plunge, not just the United States.”


Rhonda Palazzo

Q: As the national abortion debate continues, what’s your stance on the issue? Would you support Senator McConnell’s proposed federal ban if Roe V Wade is overturned?

“First of all, I am absolutely pro-life right now. I wasn’t always pro-life when I was much younger. I’m very pro life. In fact, I’m the only candidate in the 3rd congressional race that has the full endorsement of the National Right to Life and the Kentucky Right to Life Victory PAC. I am pro-life for many reasons, many reasons. As a woman, it’s a very personal issue for you. And I have a very personal story that I’ve shared before. But I do know now that the science is such that we know not only is the baby fully formed after just about 14 weeks, but we also know it’s not a glob of blood. It is a fully-formed baby, and we have had testimony. We have ultrasound technology, which we did not have in 1973. We know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that fetus, that, baby feels pain. So, I believe abortion is very barbaric. And I even did a speech at UofL taking a stance for abortion. And after I did my research, I learned that I was pro-life.”

“Normally, I believe in state’s rights. But, I would support a federal ban because of one reason: We know that that baby is living. So it is, sadly enough, murder. And murder is against the law. We just haven’t recognized the constitutional rights of that baby. Many people argue that, ‘Oh, that fetus is not sustainable outside the womb.’ Tell me what baby that’s born is sustainable if you leave it by itself. It has to be fed by its mother or father or a human, somebody to take care of it. So, that’s the way I look at it. Yes, I would support a national federal ban.”

Q: Inflation is pinching wallets, how would you prefer the country attempt to help?

“Inflation is the result of spending, out-of-control spending, continuing this quantum easing puts more dollars into the economy, more dollars chasing the same goods and services. I have several ideas about how to counteract that. No. 1, we can lower gas prices simply by opening up the Keystone Pipeline, which, by the way, is environmentally safe. We can allow for American drilling leases, which the Biden administration has limited so that, we do not have to ship foreign oil across seas where it can be dumped into the ocean. The pipeline is far more environmentally safe than shipping oil across the sea. So, we would do that, for one thing. America can be energy independent, and I support that. That’s one thing. No. 2, we need to cut out the wasteful spending in Washington. We used to cut spend billions. Now, we’re spending trillions. It is destroying the poor and the middle class in America. That’s what inflation does: It hits the poorest among us. And the Democrats often say, ‘Oh, we’re for the poor. ‘We’re for the black communities.’ But, their policies proved to harm them more than anything. So, I would like to reduce taxes. It’s been done three times in history, recently: Kennedy, Reagan and Trump reduced taxes. Whenever taxes are reduced, along with spending caps, you have an upsurge in the economy. That’s what we need to do: less taxes, less wasteful spending.”







Rhonda Palazzo

Rhonda Palazzo


Q: Gun violence is still prevalent in Louisville and across the country. How would you want crime addressed?

“May I offer a different perspective on the term gun violence? We never refer to a drunk driver as a drug car. A car wreck, you know, blame it on the car. If I take a test and I fail that test, it’s not the pencil’s fault. It’s the person in charge of the pencil. It’s the person responsible in charge of the car. Guns were meant to protect our Americans against government tyranny, such as happened in China, such as happened in Hitler, in Germany. That’s the purpose. It’s not for hunting and fishing or whatever. It’s to protect us against our own government, because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. So, we always have that check. Do you know why the Japanese did not invade America? Instead, they did Pearl Harbor? They did not send their troops in because they knew we were the largest civilian military on Earth. And we still are. That’s what protects us. So, it’s not gun violence. It’s a problem with the individuals. And there’s several I can tell you several reasons. First of all, we used to have a DARE program in the Jefferson County Schools. What they did, police went in there and they would advise young people throughout the Jefferson County system about don’t do drugs, don’t do alcohol, watch the crime, don’t do crime, it does not pay to do crime. So, we were working to teach them actively not to do that. Now, they took it out of the system. They didn’t have the funding for it. Well, I beg to differ. We need to put it back in, and I will assure you, we will get funding, whether it’s private, whether it’s business, whether it’s church or whether it’s federal, to put that back in our system. Did you know, and this is very important, do you know how the penitentiaries determine how much growth and how much they need to build future penitentiary? You know how they do that? They look at the local third-grade reading proficiency rates. And this is true, and I’m telling you. One of our senators in the state legislature just quoted this. The third grade kids, who are unable to read by third grade, they have such a great propensity for criminality that that’s what determines how they go penitentiaries. So what we need are reading proficiency, not only in the Jefferson County Public Schools but throughout Kentucky. We have to teach our young people reading, writing, arithmetic. We need to focus on the basics, and you master that before we bring in other social issues.”

Q: Why should people vote for you?

“I’m a true conservative. I represent the Republican Party. I’m the only one that’s endorsed by the American Family Association PAC, by the Kentucky and National Right to Life. I have an A-plus rating by the NRA because I do believe in our right to bear arms. I am a constitutional conservative. And I was born and raised in Louisville. I’ve been here my whole life. And I love Louisville, I love Louisvillians, and I will represent the people the people’s voice in Washington.”


Stuart Ray

Q: As the national abortion debate continues, what’s your stance on the issue and would you support Senator McConnell’s proposed federal ban?

“Well, the leaked released from the Supreme Court, I don’t think it was a federal ban. It appeared to me — the way I interpreted — is that it put the responsibilities back on the state for the state to decide. Personally, in my personal life, I’m Catholic, and I am pro-life. But it appears that the states have been claiming that abortion is a state issue for decades. And it appears that maybe the Supreme Court is beginning to feel the same way.”

Q: Inflation is pinching wallets, how would you prefer the country attempt to help?

“It’s terrible. It’s a terrible tax on the working people of not only Louisville, Kentucky, but the United States. And they’re paying for it in all areas, in the grocery store and at the fuel pump. I would obviously free up the drilling and oil production. I think anytime that the president comes out in his campaign says he wants to put an end to oil production, clearly they weren’t motivated and there’s no permitting out there for additional production of oils. And so I think opening up the the pipelines and production in the United States is what will — eventually it’ll take time — drive the price down inflation. I’m also equally worried about there’s shortages now of baby formula in all the grocery stores. And we want to talk about, you know, the youth of America and moms. It’s terrible that they’d have to fight a shortage of a formula in the grocery stores and the increased prices.”







Stuart Ray

Stuart Ray


Q: Gun violence is still prevalent in Louisville and across the country. How would you want crime addressed?

“We need to support Louisville Metro Police Force. And, obviously, they’re 300 members down, plus or minus. There’s some debate over that. I want to see that, you know, the benefits and their pay brought up to a level where we can support these police and get the numbers back up so it supports, not only the community, but then their brethren, their fellow officers are understaffed. And I think that that’s an existing danger. Beyond that, I’m a big proponent of community policing. I really want to see our police motivated and compensated to live in the communities where they serve, to get to know those those communities and so their names are known to the moms and dads and children of those communities, and, in addition, they know the families. And so I think that, in itself, will maybe deescalate the tension and improve what’s the travesty of the murder rate and and the crime that’s going on in Louisville.”

Q: Why should people vote for you?

“I’m an outsider. I’m a businessman for 40 years. I came up through steel technologies here in Louisville, went to Ballard High School. And my opponent, I think, in the Democrat side, is really a career politician. He’s a state senator. I really want to bring change to Louisville. I think he’ll be pretty much a 2.0 version of the previous congressman in office right now. So I think I can work, I’ve been proven that I can work with either party. If it’s in the best interests of Louisville — economic development or otherwise — I want to deliver it for the city.”

There is one other candidate not included here. Justin Gregory hasn’t actively campaigned but will appear on the ballot.

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