Sen. Johnny Ray Turner told Harlan County Democrats on Friday that he is glad to be representing the county as a result of the recent legislative redistricting.
Turner, who now represents Floyd, Knott, Letcher and Harlan, said all of his counties have the same type of hardworking people and the same type of needs.
Turner, who retired from teaching and coaching after 28 years, has served in the state Senate since 2001. His district recently changed as he lost Breathitt County and picked up Harlan County during the mandated redistricting to have equal representation based on population.
Turner spoke of having a great team in the east Kentucky caucus representing the region, saying he works well with state Rep. Rick Nelson, D-Middlesboro, and Rep. Fitz Steele, D-Hazard.
Nelson and Steele are the only two representatives for the county now after Rep. Leslie Combs, D-Pikeville, and Rep. Tim Couch, R-Hyden, lost their Harlan County precincts in the redistricting process.
“I’m here to hopefully help get everyone out to vote,” said Turner. “Democrats are for families. I believe if you get people out to vote (in the fall), Democrats will win it.”
Nelson, Steele and Alice Lundergan Grimes were scheduled to speak at the Harlan County Democratic Party rally, but Democrat Executive Committee Member Jason Jackson told the sparse crowd that scheduling problems preempted their participation.
Democratic candidates who spoke during the rally included Ed Harris and Dan Mosley, two of the democratic candidates for Harlan County Judge Executive; Nobe Baker, Phillip Dozier, Olivia Middleton, Jeremy Clem and Tony Cooper for District 1 Magistrate; Spencer Bailey for District 5 Magistrate; and Claire Stines, Leslie “Smitty” Smith and Mike Lunsford for Harlan County Sheriff. Henry Johnson for Harlan Circuit Court Judge attended the event, but did not address the crowd.