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Many long time West Kentucky residents remember Carroll Hubbard. He has been in and around West Kentucky politics for decades. He’s back in a primary on Tuesday for a shot at his old Kentucky Senate seat. Hubbard’s return has not been met with unrestrained enthusiasm in Frankfort, but West Kentuckians are fond of their reformed, returned from the wilderness, candidate. A political war horse, when the electoral trumpet sounds, Hubbard is drawn to the battlefield of campaigning.

Biographical Background

Carroll Hubbard, 71 years old, was born in Calloway County on July 7, 1937. He got a BA from Georgetown College in 1955 and his law degree from the University of Louisville in 1962. He was a member of the Kentucky Air Guard from 1968 – 1972.

He was elected to 2nd District Kentucky Senator and served from 1968 to 1975. He ran successfully for the US House of Representatives and was in Congress from 1975 to 1993. He was defeated in the primary of 1992 by Tom Barlow, who went on to win the seat for one term. Ed Whitfield took the seat from Barlow and still holds it.

He gave the governor’s race a try in 1979. He came in fourth in a crowded field behind newcomer John Y. Brown, Mayor Harvey Sloan of Louisville and Kentucky Commerce Secretary Terry McBrayer.

Hubbard ran into trouble when he used his campaign funds to further his then wife, Carol Hubbard’s campaign to win a seat in Congress in Eastern Kentucky.  Congressional staffers worked her campaign under assumed names. He pled guilty to three felonies in federal court.  

The New York Times reported that he aided the FBI in their investigation of corruption. Hubbard wore a wire and worked with investigators until he revealed his involvement and the investigation ended. ( New York Times).

Hubbard spent over two years in prison and was released in 1997. His civil rights were restored by Governor Patton on October 6, 2000. Two years later, his law license was reinstated by the Kentucky Supreme Court. (Hubbard vs. KY Bar Assn.)

Carroll Hubbard returned to the practice of law in Paducah, but the political office bug bit again. Bob Leeper, Senate District 1, had been a Democrat, then a Republican, and finally an independent. His term was up and he would be running as an independent. Two candidates challenged him: Neil Archer, a Republican and Carroll Hubbard, a Democrat. Hubbard came in second, losing by a thin margin of 58 votes.

2008 Primary

Hubbard moved to Mayfield after the 2006 election to the First Senate District – where he began his political career. Hubbard has been campaigning tirelessly, showing up at weddings, ball games, church services, civic events.

He is running newspaper ads and is on Paducah TV Channel 6. His ads address the concerns of locals for jobs, jobs, jobs. The television ad points to the old General Tire empty factory building in Mayfield, the unfilled industrial park in Graves County and the lack of industry in the river counties.

Hubbard’s ads focus on the area’s needs, reminding voters of his responsiveness to their concerns in the past. Responsiveness to the voter is a claim that no one who knows him or who has grown up in the Purchase can dispute. Hubbard’s notes, letters and cards of congratulations are legendary through the district. Most families still have the card he sent their graduates – some as far back as the mid sixties.

No polling data is available in this race. Word on the street is that Hubbard’s name recognition, legwork and continued popularity with older voters will carry him through the primary.

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