Many people entering politics start with a smaller, more local office, and work their way “up the chain” in terms of the level of the office and the scope of the work.
But sometimes, the issues are so compelling that you just can’t wait.
William Compton, a teacher in Warren County, has filed to run against Brett Guthrie for the KY-02 seat in Congress.
Compton, an orchestra and band director, already has one political campaign under his belt: he ran as a write-in candidate in 2020 for the Plum Springs city commission – and won.
Compton knows that he is an extremely long shot to beat Guthrie; and even before that, he may have to win a primary, as other Democrats in the district are rumored to be looking at the race as well.
So then why, in spite of those odds, did he decide to run anyway?
“The lack of leadership that I’ve seen at that level, and the voting record.
“Everything that’s happened with COVID, Brett Guthrie has been virtually silent.
“On injustices as well, he’s just been silent. One time, he mentioned Breonna Taylor, and said ‘Well, it was her fault she got killed.’
“Statements like that appalled me, and when I go into my classroom and see my students — I have many students of color, different ethnicities — and I look at them, and the thought always crosses my mind, ‘No one is standing up for them. No one is going to try and protect them.’ And that’s why I jumped into the congressional race. We need a leader, and our leader has just been absent in this district.”
The local party has been encouraging, but since there may be a primary, the party can’t provide much more than that encouragement. But Compton isn’t discouraged. “The Democrats here are really fired up; they want to start taking more seats at all levels.”
He decided to run in March, and has already been hard at work. He has sought advice from persons who have worked with other campaigns, including Charles Booker’s. He has opened his campaign account with the FEC. He has built his campaign web site.
And, he has a staff: a campaign manager, a treasurer, a field director, and a person to do social media and communications. Of course, they are all volunteer (“at this point,” he comments), but that still puts him ahead of many other would-be candidates.
I concluded our interview with the same question I ask any candidate: “Pretend you are standing on my porch, and I ask you ‘Why should I vote for you?’ What is your answer?”
Here is William Compton’s answer:
“You should vote for me because I am not like any other politician that has run in this race. I don’t come from a wealthy background; I’ve worked just like everyone else in our commonwealth has worked, as a working Kentuckian, and I know what everyone is struggling with right now. And I won’t abandon you like our current representative has.”
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