(Story By Jeff Ledington, The Mountain Advocate)
South Laurel and University of Kentucky alum Scotty Reams is seeking to replace the retiring Jim Stewart as state representative for Knox and Laurel Counties.
The 24 year old Reams was raised by his grandparents on a tobacco and cattle farm in laurel County. After completing his undergraduate studies, he went on to the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy where he recently finished his final exam.
Reams spent time in Washington D.C. working in Hal Rogers’ Office after undergrad, Reams met the congressman as a Rogers Scholar. Rogers and Governor Steve Beshear appointed Reams to the planning committee for Shaping Our Appalachian Region, SOAR. Reams said he got to “go to work every day and see Hal Rogers make a difference in people’s lives.” This experience inspired him to pursue his own government office and with Stewart’s retirement he saw his chance.
Reams said “people in our district deserve someone that will fight for them“, when asked why he is running. Reams believes we need people in office with good morals and that “sometimes we don’t do the best job making sure the best people get elected.”
Reams believes his experience age sup for his age, he is the youngest of the candidates. He pointed out he meets the constitutional requirements to run for office. “I’m young but I have the attitude, I know I’ll work harder and I have experience,” he stated. He added he is running for representative and believes he should represent the people’s interests, not the candidate’s. reams also referenced Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who’s age and experience were called into question during the election.
Reams says schools are a major issue for him; his wife is a teacher in the district. “I think our teachers and our staff need more support than they’ve typically been given,” he said. He also emphasized road projects in the district as another point of focus.
‘Good quality healthcare,” was another area Reams hit on. Reams wants to improve people’s access to healthcare and quality healthcare as well as making it more affordable.
Reams believes specific policy areas are what separates him from his fellow Republican candidates. He continued by saying his values are a major difference between him and others. He added, “I’ve never been involved in anything someone in the district could be embarrassed of…I’ve always done the right thing and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”
Reams stressed the value of his government experience and pointed out that even though he hasn’t served in elected office, he’s been in the trenches with officials in big offices. Reams believes his experience is on-par or greater than any other candidate in the race, mentioning one of his opponents “wasn’t in office very long.”
When asked what he wanted Knox Countians to know, Reams said “I’m the hardest working candidate they’ll ever find. I will be a representative they can be proud of, that they can go to.” Reams believes he best represents the morals and values of the people in the 86th district.
Reams recently received the endorsement of Kentucky Right to Life Association, a major pro-life organization in the state.