After a tumultuous year for the Senator from Georgetown, Ky., in which the racing industry saw the former Breeders' Cup executive truly act as the horse industry's Senator, Damon Thayer is now up for reelection and faces a primary opponent on his road to reelection Tuesday. If you are a Republican voter in his area and a supporter of the horse industry, a vote for Thayer is a vote for equine interests. It is also a vote against Sen. President David Williams who did not take kindly to Thayer's bi-partisan maneuver working with Gov. Steve Beshear to bring forth a slots bill that would have given needed aid to Kentucky's racetracks and breeding industry.
To learn more about Thayer's record and those who have endorsed him, click here.
Meanwhile, voters in Kentucky's 76th House District have the opportunity to send Republican Lavinia Spirito, wife of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute veterinarian Michael Spirito, into this fall's general election to face incumbent Democrat Ruth Ann Palumbo, who has been in office for 22 years.
Spirito, an attorney who works with neglected, abused and dependent children in Fayette County Family Court, has significantly outraised her primary opponent, Richard Marrs. Marrs lost by 19% to Palumbo in the last general election.
“We need an electable candidate, someone who can beat Ruth Ann Palumbo, who is hostile to the horse industry,” Spirito told the Paulick Report. “Some of the finest horse farms in Fayette County are in this district,” she said, referencing the area northeast of Lexington, running south of Paris Pike and north of Winchester Road. The district also encompasses parts of the Chevy Chase neighborhood in Lexington.
Spirito pointed out that her family's income has come primarily from the horse industry for the last 30 years by virtue of her husband's profession and that they have been involved in horse ownership through partnerships and syndicates. She said the Lexington Herald-Leader referred to her as the “horse industry candidate – as if that's a bad thing.”
“I'm a friend to the horse industry, which has gotten shortchanged in Kentucky, and I can't imagine why,” she added. “Purses at Kentucky tracks are shrinking. Horses and horse farms are abandoning Kentucky, and it's just a shame.
“I am an electable candidate this fall,” said Spirito, who admitted she has been a registered Democrat who has usually voted Republican until recently changing her party registration. “We've got to get away from voting along party lines and build consensus,” she said. “How can we solve our problems if we don't talk to each other?”
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