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Kemp to run

(Murray, KY Dec. 21, 2011) - Hal Kemp threw his hat in the ring for 5th district seatBusinessman Hal Kemp announced today he will seek the seat being vacated by 5th District Representative Melvin Henley, who is retiring. 

It will be Kemp’s second run for public office. Henley defeated Kemp in 2006 back when Henley was the incumbent Republican. Henley later switched parties and became a Democrat. Henley won in 2008 and 2010 as a Democrat.

Presently, the 5th Kentucky House District is made up of Calloway County (Murray) and three precincts in Trigg County (Cadiz). That may or may not be the same district that Kemp campaigned through in 2006. It is rumored that redistricting will shift Trigg to one with Lyon, Caldwell and Livingston Counties. Calloway saw growth in the 2010 census.It could be a one county district when the dust settles. The final decision is up to the General Assembly when it meets in January 2012.

In announcing his decision to run, Kemp said, “I believe I still have something to offer this community and this area. I am different this time. I’ve learned a lot since I ran the last time. I understand the district better because of the work I’ve done since 2006.”

Kemp and his wife, Leslie, own the Murray Dairy Queen, a local landmark. Hal and his wife have one son whose daughter, Kylie, is the apple of grandpa's eye.

Hal Kemp serves on the board of Murray Calloway County Hospital, the board of Angels’ Clinic, a group that offers medical services to locals without health insurance. He has served on the local community education council, a group of businesspeople, educators and local politicians who work to improve education. He served on the local housing authority and on his church council.

When asked what his themes for his campaign will be, Kemp said his two major themes will be “education and jobs.” He will be a strong supporter of Murray State University, calling it the “economic engine” of the region.  He will continue to support funding for MSU.  Kemp is excited that a joint project by MSU and the University of Kentucky will create a medical school at the far western university. Students will train at both universities.

Kemp also wants to see more technical education. The area’s technical schools are full, but there are students who are underserved.  Kemp related that he spoke with a local bricklayer who would hire a trained employee in a heart beat. However, the local tech programs don’t offer bricklaying. Tech jobs are ones for the segment of students who don’t want to go to college. 

Kemp is the first to announce that he is running for the House seat. If other Democrats get into the race, there will be a primary in May. If not, Kemp will face whoever files on the GOP side. 

Like the rest of the state, Calloway County is leaning more to the right. That’s okay with Kemp. He too is more conservative than he was in 2006.

And he’s not as naïve.

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