Senate candidates hit campus for Citizen Ky. forum



Students, faculty and staff will have the chance to be a part of political history, and one group of UK freshmen is making sure campus is informed and ready for when election day rolls around.

For the first time in Kentucky history, voters will see a contested primary for Democrat and Republican candidates running for Jim Bunning’s seat in the U.S. Senate, said journalism professor Buck Ryan.

Ryan’s Discovery Seminar Program students have organized a forum for all 10 of these candidates to come and share their platforms with the Lexington community.

“We are looking toward preparing people for May 18 for the primary elections,” Ryan said.

The class, titled “Citizen Kentucky: Journalism and Democracy,” focuses on civic engagement. Ryan said this forum is the type of event that will hopefully inspire young people to get involved.

“Citizen Kentucky is about doing something different … being close to the action,” he said. “It’s not that difficult, you can have access and get excited about things.”

The forum will open with a lightning round for candidates to answer three questions. At noon the Color Guard will present the flag and Lexington Catholic High School’s male a cappella group, “After Hours,” will perform the national anthem.

The question and answer session will continue with the candidates until around 1:10 p.m., when closing remarks will be made.

More than 100 Lexington high school students will attend the forum as well, and Ryan said even a middle school teacher contacted him about bringing her students to the forum.

“I’m just as likely to turn to a middle schooler who wants to ask a question,” Ryan said.

“The hope is to inspire young people to get engaged in civic life, they may end up being candidates someday.”