Compton, Linderman contend in Democratic U.S. House primary

Published 12:59 pm Friday, May 17, 2024

Two Democrats in the 2nd Congressional district will rematch for their party’s general election spot in next week’s primary election.

Democratic voters will decide between William Compton, a Warren East music teacher and Plum Springs city commissioner, and Hank Linderman, a self-employed recording professional, to challenge Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green in the November general election.

Guthrie has held his seat since 2009, and has already raised $1.7 million for his campaign. Compton has raised $4,500, while Linderman has raised $7,000.

Compton and Linderman have competed before, in 2022, where Linderman won the primary but lost to Guthrie in the general election. Linderman has run against Guthrie two additional times.

Why are they running?

When Compton hears his students talking about their problems, he said he thinks they are the same or worse issues he and his peers faced when they were students.

Their parents are working multiple jobs to get by, leaving students to take care of their siblings. Students come to school sick, because their family can’t afford to go to the doctor and garner medical debt.

“I’m running because I want to fix that,” Compton said. “I want to make their lives better. I just want to move their lives forward.”

Linderman said he’s running out of the frustration working people face. He said 60% to 70% of America is not being truly represented in Congress, which overwhelmingly consists of representatives who were not in a working class job before being elected.

He’s “alarmed” at the political divide between left and right, rural and urban, and wants to help fix it.

Key issues

Compton would like to establish a living wage for all Americans, as well as ensure affordable health care for people of all income levels.

He also would focus on water issues in Edmonson County, which has faced some unsafe drinking water conditions recently. The recently passed budget allocates $6.5 million to alleviate the issue.

“I know that there is starting to be movement, but it’s not quick enough,” Compton said. “And I would constantly every day be fighting to bring those resources to fix that issue.”

Compton would address corporate price gouging, which he said has continued even after supply chain complications during the pandemic have resolved.

Finally, Compton said he’s concerned about infrastructure, including updating roadways and bringing wireless internet to all parts of the district.

“You never know when a school might have to go to a non-traditional instruction day, or you never know when you would need that Internet access,” he said.

Linderman is primarily focused on the plight of working class Americans.

He said he wants to work toward higher wages, safer places to work, better schedules more conducive to raising families and a health system that doesn’t bankrupt people when someone gets sick.

“I think we really need to realign our society to better serve the average working person,” Linderman said. “… By average, I mean people of all genders, all colors, all religions, all ages, etc., etc., etc.”

Linderman also noted that Democrats in his district feel frustrated because the Democratic Party “has stopped investing in districts they can’t win this cycle.”

He helped create The Contract for Rural and Working America, which calls for rural broadband, living wages, marijuana legalization, renewable rural energy and support for workers in declining industries.

Both Democratic candidates expressed their support for term limits.

The primary is Tuesday.