Gubernatorial candidate Kelly Craft makes campaign stop in Middlesboro

Published 2:32 pm Thursday, March 23, 2023

Kelly Craft, a former U.S. Ambassador to Canada and Republican candidate for governor, stopped by Ike’s Pizza in Middlesboro last Thursday evening to share her campaign platform.

Craft is campaigning on a tour of mom-and-pop restaurants across the state.

A native of Glasgow Craft said that kitchen table issues are why she is running for office.

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“Growing up in Barren County, my parents always put importance on gathering around the kitchen table every morning and every night. This is where we talked about our strong faith in God, our day at school, and what was happening in our community. Kitchen tables are where Kentuckians make decisions, pay their bills, and help their kids with homework,” said Craft.

Craft promised a shakeup her first week in office.

“My first week in office, I’m going to dismantle the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky Board of Education,” said Craft. “We are going to take it apart, and then we are going to put it back together.”

As the daughter of a teacher, education has always been important to Craft.

One of Craft’s goals is to expand the choices that high school-aged children are presented with when it comes to pursuing different avenues of education, so they have the tools they need to succeed and reach their full potential.

“Whether this is through charter schools, trade schools, technical schools, or apprenticeships, we need to encourage high school students to explore their interests and pursue their passions because there is no correct path to their own success. We should introduce these options to them at a younger age – when they’re freshmen or sophomores, not seniors – so they have time to think about what they want to do for their careers,” Craft said.

According to Craft, the state of Kentucky has plenty of available jobs, and it is up to the workforce to fill in jobs. Craft cites issues such as education and substance abuse as reasons the Kentucky workforce is not as strong as it once was. To assuage this, Craft stressed the importance of all types of work and campaigned for better rehabilitation programs for prisoners and those struggling with substance abuse.

Craft took a few questions from the crowd before a meet and greet.

While on her kitchen table tour, Craft also visited Clay County, Casey County, Letcher County, Johnson County, and Perry County before her arrival in Bell. Crafts campaign tour continues, with some of her more recent stops in Floyd, Franklin, and Fayette counties.