1st District House candidate Desiree Owen speaks with Larry Sanderson.
Barlow, Kentucky resident Democrat Desireé Owen filed to run against Republican incumbent Steven Rudy for the Kentucky First District House seat representing Ballard, Fulton, Hickman, and Carlisle Counties, and portion of McCracken County.
The two will be on the November 6th ballot.
Owen's announcement was made at Local 184 of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union in Paducah, attended by close to 100 supporters of education and trade unions. At right, Owen is introduced by union member Kyle Henderson.
In response to a question about teacher retirements and the issue of their pensions, Owen said "I fought that battle." She went on to explain how her mother, a retired teacher, had her benefits threatened.
She recalled her mother saying, "We take these jobs to serve the public."
Owen said that the pension issue affects everyone. "Now is not the time to be taking money from teachers."
Owen said, "I don't pretend to have all the answers to the problems we face in western Kentucky, but I do know there is always more than one approach to a solution, and one that will not hurt the majority of the hard working citizens of the First District. A state representative should fight for what is in the best interests of the folks who live in their district. It is time to put the voters first in the First," she said.
Owen has met challenges before. She was executive director during the development and construction of the Carson Center in downtown Paducah. She has also been a political consultant and legislative advocate, broadcast journalist and a tourism marketing executive.
She is a graduate of Leadership Paducah and was named Alumni of the Year, as well as Paducah Rotarian of the Year, and Distinguished Service Award. Owen was also awarded several Kentucky Associated Press Awards, including Best Reporter, Best Newscast, among others.
Currently, she is the co-owner of the Green Timber Duck Club in the Barlow River Bottoms of Ballard County. She is an enthusiastic hunter, angler and competitive shooter. Owen has won local competitions in long range rifle. She is engaged to David Jones, a native of Barlow, who is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. She has a son, a graduate of Paducah Tilghman High School, who is attending West Kentucky Community and Technical College on a Community Scholarship.
"I had no plans to embark on a political career, but others encouraged me because it is time for someone to fight for what is right for our working families in education, labor, law enforcement and other vitally important state jobs. We ask much of them over their careers and promises made are not to be broken. It seems we are going down the wrong path," Owen said.
Her father was a career union ironworker and her mother a retired elementary teacher. She is a native of Lyon County and a graduate of Murray State University.