Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:
The State Journal on how residents in Kentucky’s Franklin County voted in the recent election:
President Donald Trump may have lost his reelection bid for a second term in the White House, but he won in Franklin County by less than a percentage point - the slimmest margin in the state.
According to the Kentucky State Board of Elections’ unofficial results, the Trump-Mike Pence ticket defeated President-elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris by just 250 votes - 12,900 to 12,650 - in Franklin County. Trump secured 49.5% of the vote to Biden’s 48.54%.
In fact, this is the second straight presidential election in which Trump carried Franklin County. In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost to Trump 11,819 (49.53%) to 10,717 (44.92%).
Yet, the number of registered Democrats in the county - 25,667 - is more than double that of Republicans - 11,488, which means many Dems voted for Trump.
But there is also divide among Trump supporters and Franklin County voters who backed U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, because Democratic Senate challenger Amy McGrath won in Franklin County by more than four percentage points - 13,089 (50.12%) to McConnell’s 11,990 (45.92%).
However, McConnell took the statewide vote by nearly 20 percentage points - 57.77% to McGrath’s 38.23%.
In similar fashion, Kentucky was the first state to be called for Trump, with Biden carrying only the two most populous of Kentucky’s 120 counties - Jefferson and Fayette. Trump earned 62.13% compared statewide to Biden’s 36.17%.
Locally, two of the county’s three state legislative seats flipped from blue to red.
Republican Adrienne Southworth won the state Senate District 7 race in convincing fashion with 52.6% of the vote over Democrat Joe Graviss (43.1%) and independent Ken Carroll (4.3%) even though Graviss garnered the most Franklin County ballots - 52% compared to 41% for Southworth and 6% for Carroll. And Republican Daniel Fister prevailed 11,621-10,700 over Democratic challenger Lamar Allen in the state House 56th District. In Franklin County, the margin was even thinner with 2,061 votes for Fister and 2,017 for Allen.
State Rep. Derrick Graham was the only Franklin County legislative Democrat to keep his seat - winning 13,163 to 8,286 over Republican Gary Stratton.
So what do the local general election results tell us about our community? Like the rest of the nation, we, too, are deeply divided. It is our hope that newly elected leaders will work across party lines for the greater good and betterment of our city, county, state and country.
The Daily Independent on President Donald Trump refusing to concede the presidential election:
The million-dollar question to which even “Jeopardy!” and the late Alex Trebek (may he Rest In Peace) wouldn’t have an answer in a blue block: “Will Donald Trump concede?”
When it’s all said and done, the “Jeopardy!” answer may be: This President made history by becoming the first in modern history to refuse a peaceful transfer of power.
The question: “Who is Donald Trump?”
However, it’s much too early to jump to that conclusion. Trump - while a long shot - could have a change of heart and ultimately concede to Joe Biden, who appears he will become the 46th American President.
Even Hillary Clinton, who back in August urged Biden not to concede if he happened to lose, made a phone call to Trump - at Barack Obama’s urging - and conceded. She called it one of the more awkward moments of her life.
What started the concession tradition?
According to National Geographic, conceding and peacefully transferring power began in 1896. William Jennings Bryan sent a telegram to William McKinley, the 25th President, congratulating McKinley and stating, “We have submitted the issue to the American people and their will is law.”
Bryan simply deemed it the courteous thing to do, and was surprised it became a national talking point.
From that point forward, the candidate who fell short of the required 270 electoral votes has conceded to the President who’d take an oath to begin either his first or second term in the White House.
This year, Trump clearly doesn’t feel like he lost fair and square. But even fellow Republican George W. Bush already congratulated Biden.
“Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country,” Bush said. He loved the “patriotic message” conveyed by Biden in his Saturday-night speech.
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney congratulated Biden as well.
Charles Evans Hughes didn’t congratulate Woodrow Wilson, according to National Geographic, until two weeks after the race. Thomas Dewey never personally contacted FDR in 1944, instead conceding on the radio.
The Trump campaign has fired up some legal battles, but perhaps it would be best to extinguish them.
Trump doesn’t have to be the most gracious loser - and he won’t be - but he has served his four years. And he will always be President Donald Trump. He should leave it at that, and concede.
The Daily Independent on a man who opened a “tool library” in a Kentucky city to allow residents to borrow tools:
One Ashland man deserves credit for community service like we’ve never seen before.
Former home builder Shannon Hill’s excess of tools inspired him to open the Ashland Area Tool Library.
He had heard of another city with a tool library, so he opened one at his garage at 1604 Spring Park.
Residents may borrow lawn mowers, weedeaters and pressure washers; many of the borrowers simply don’t have room to store the items where they live. They also have access to angle grinders, sawhorses and ladders, as well as other tools, from fairly common to rarely used.
There is no charge or no membership to borrow a tool. He doesn’t even ask for donations, although he receives a few, which he puts toward buying more tools needed by locals.
It’s also simple to use: visit his Facebook page and schedule a time for pickup.
To provide even more help to the area, he and some friends started the informational group Hearts and Hammers, which they use to do small repair jobs for the elderly and disabled in the area.
Hill deserves two thumbs up for this idea.
One: He’s offering help that’s not available elsewhere. It’s help that can be accessed by people of any income level. For free. It’s real and it’s practical.
Two: Hill showed initiative, generosity and outside-the-box thinking in starting the tool library.
There is no limit to what can be done in the Tri-State using those three approaches to life.
Thank you to Hill for instituting a great idea in Ashland.
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