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Sen. Paul on listening tour in River Counties
Senator Rand Paul in Hickman - listening to local issues.

Senator Rand Paul made an un-campaign swing through the River Counties on September 1st. The Senator spoke to the Paducah Chamber of Commerce, visited Rudy Farm Center, the family business of Rep. Steve Rudy (R - 1st House ), Harper Hams in Hickman County, and ended the tour with lunch and a round table discussion in the city of Hickman.

Students from Hickman County High School were bused out to the Harper Ham stop. The students had a chance to talk to the Senator before getting back on the bus.

And of course - there were pictures. Shown below at right, Hickman County High students with the Senator, left to right Carley Byassee, Allison Pettit, Natalie Hannon, Taylor Ramage, Adriann Crider, Jakob Stahr, Sierra Miner, and teacher Kent Green.

We asked their teacher to find out for us what they thought of seeing the Senator.

Here are some of the student comments he emailed:

Junior, Allison Pettit: "I think it was a good opportunity for us to get out and actually see what we talk about in class."

Junior, Carley Byassee: "I've learned that Rand Paul shares most of our area's beliefs ab

out the economy."

Junior, Jakob Stahr: "It was a great learning experience to see politics that isn't behind the screen of a TV."

Junior, Montana Lyman: "It was an amazing experience and I'm very excited we were allowed to go. It was a nice thing to go to and see someone who helps

govern us. Even though we don't vote yet, it's nice to be included."

Junior, Sierra Miner: "As a student it was nice taking in and listening to someone with the same views as the people he's representing."

Green said "In order for our students to be leaders in school and in the future, we need them to see our leaders firsthand. It was a great opportunity for them to be a part of civics, and not just teach about it."

The last stop of Paul's day was a round table in the City of Hickman to discuss problems and opportunities related to the Port of Hickman. The Senator listened

to a discussion on the amount of tonnage through the Port and how the size of shipping relates to the rules the Port must live by.

Local officials urged the Senator to help the Port with the Corps of Engineers that manages the Mississippi River. They discussed the recent dredging of the River at the Port, a process that has to be done regularly or the Port silts up and becomes unusable.

Paul's tour included his usual criticisms of the federal government and the rules and regulations that he abhors. But this Paul was not the strident libertarian warrior that criticized every elected official in his first run for office.

The junior senator running for his second term is learning that constituents may like to hear him rail against the machine - but they also need services that only the federal government can supply.

While no one expects Paul to become a DC sugar daddy, local officials of both parties expressed appreciation for his willingness to listen to them and sometimes bring a calorie laden treat back to the home folks.

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