By JEFFREY PODIS – CENTO WRITER
On Friday, Oct. 4, the Centre Democrats hosted an event honoring a member of Centre’s Board of Trustees, Crit Luallen, a graduate of Centre and the former Auditor of the State of Kentucky. This is the second year such a dinner has been hosted and for both years, prominent Kentucky politicians have made an appearance.
This year, Representative James Kay of the 56th District, Michelle Keller, the Chief Justice of Kentucky’s Supreme Court, and Harold McKinney, the Boyle County Judge Executive, made appearances.
The honoree for the dinner was Sannie Overly, the Majority Caucus Chair and representative of District 72. The dinner was held in Chowan, and the décor had a taste of bipartisanship with both red and blue napkins.
The major theme for this dinner was ‘Women in Politics,’ honoring the women who serve political roles in our commonwealth. The three guest speakers each had a message of their own about a politically developing Kentucky and a developing nation.
“Kentucky has never elected a woman to the United States Senate,” senior Julie Springate said. “Women make up over 50 percent of the population, over 50 percent of the workforce, and over 50 percent of college graduates. Today, the general assembly is made up of only 18 percent women. Only 5 of our 120 judge executives are women, and out of our 9 elected state office holders, only one is a woman… our women in leadership are strong, but we need to encourage, and increase, their presence.”
Following Springate’s speech was Representative James Kay. Kay, who represents Versailles and the 56th District, spoke on the election process and the advantages and disadvantages to running in the state of Kentucky, but mainly to focus on unity in a non-election year.
“At this time, we need to focus not on the politics of being a Democrat, but the values of being a Democrat,” said Kay. “Before you can do something to help those in need, you have to truly care about those in need.”
Kay also spoke about the honoree, Representative Sannie Overly, and spoke about how her actions helped him with his election.
“[Representative Overly] is someone who is going to move our state forward. She is someone who shares our Democratic values, who knows what it means to give back, who knows when to stand up for what’s right … and we are extremely lucky to have her as one of Kentucky’s representatives,” Kay said.
The third guest speaker, Crit Luallen, was enthusiastic about the future for Centre and the future for Kentucky politics.
“We’re in a good place as Democrats in Kentucky,” Luallen said.
“Despite the polls showing voters of Kentucky to move towards a more conservative ticket, what we, as Democrats have been focusing on is serving the people of Kentucky, and making sure that the people of Kentucky have better lives,” Luallen said.
Luallen went on to compliment Overly’s leadership in the House of Representatives.
“We control the state’s House of Representatives, and Sannie Overly is one of the leaders of our House of Representatives, and together, they will accomplish what needs to be done to move Kentucky forward.”
Lastly, Honoree Sannie Overly spoke to the audience about the future of Kentucky politics and youth in Kentucky.
Overly suggested that all Kentucky youth volunteer in political campaigns, especially focusing on social movements within Kentucky.
Overly talked about how she came to be a politician and spoke about contemporary issues and how we, as Centre students, should come to address them.
Ultimately, the dinner was a success. It brought Centre students and Kentucky politicians together to discuss state and national issues, an exclusive opportunity that not every college can claim.