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It’s time to say goodbye to Damon Thayer.
But it’s not him who’s moving.
Last week, the Kentucky General Assembly passed and Kentucky Gov. Steve Bashear signed into a law a new map of state senate districts. The changes were made necessary by the 2010 U.S. Census that indicated the several state senate districts had either lost or gained population.
The old Senate District 17, which contained Grant, Owen, Scott and part of Kenton counties, was now about 13,000 residents over the ideal number for a senate district.
With 11,000 residents, Owen County was the obvious place to start cutting.
Owen County will now join the district Franklin, Anderson and parts of Woodford County call home.
Now when you call your state senator, former Ky. Gov. Jullian Carroll will answer the phone.
In an interview last week, Thayer, who calls himself one of the most conservative Republicans in the Kentucky Senate, said he was proud to have been re-elected in Owen County by a wide margin although the majority of local voters are registered as Democrats.
One of the reasons Thayer was and is so popular in Owen County may have less to do with his policies and beliefs as it does his willingness to be involved in the community and let people know that he was their senator and was ready to help if he could.
I think this is called retail politics and Thayer excels at it.
He was more than willing to come out to Owen County for a number of special events or occasions.
Now, any politician who says they can do this or do that is probably just wrangling for votes. An individual lawmaker is very limited in what they can do.
But the thing that any elected official can do that will endure him or her to the constituents is to take part in the community and let people shake their hand and put a face with the name.
That willingness to connect with a community can’t be underrated or underestimated.
Thayer may have not always voted as the majority of Owen County residents would have preferred but he was always willing to come by for a visit and explain his reasoning.
Thayer also appeared to work well with State. Rep. Royce Adams, D-61, Owen County’s representative in Frankfort.
Thayer said he and Adams worked together on several projects for Owen County despite their party differences.
In these days of stark political division and animosity, it’s good to see an elected official who can put the people he represents first.
Good luck Damon and thanks for everything.