Thursday, September 11, 2003

Boone school board member running for state House seat

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HEBRON - Boone County Board of Education member Ed Massey will try to win a state House seat in next year's Republican Party primary.

Massey, 35, a lawyer for Hebron and seven-year school board member, said Wednesday he would run for the 66th Kentucky House District seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Charlie Walton. Walton is leaving to run next year for the Kentucky Senate. The district covers Florence, Burlington, Hebron and central and northern Boone County.

Massey's entrance into the race guarantees the GOP a primary in Boone County, the largest Republican county in the state based on voter registrations. Addia Wuchner, a registered nurse and community activist from Florence, has previously said she also wants the seat.

"Addia is a great person, she's a very competent person and I'll have nothing bad to say about her in this race," Massey said Wednesday. "We're both going to focus on telling our constituents our ideas and beliefs and let the best person win."

Wuchner could not be reached to comment.

Massey grew up in Erlanger and graduated from Lloyd High School in 1985. He graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in police administration in 1989 and received his law degree from Chase College of Law in 1992. He has lived in Boone County for nine years and resides in Hebron with his wife, Anita, and their three daughters ages 9, 6 and 4.

Massey will not have to give up his school board seat to run for statehouse. If he loses in the May primary he plans to run for school board re-election in the fall.

Both of Massey's parents were educators; his father, Charles, was a principal at Goodrich Elementary in Hebron.

"My roots in education go deep," Massey said. "I've always had a passion for education and an interest in government. I think education is one of the primary issues our state is going to face in the upcoming year. It affects the economy, the job rate and goes to every element of the quality of our lives."

Massey said he does not believe his support of a proposed Boone County Schools tax increase scheduled to be voted on by the board of education tonight will hurt his chances in the election.

"I understand there are people on both sides of the issue," he said. "But I really believe the legislature just passed the buck to the school boards because they didn't want to take heat for a (statewide) tax increase.

"We'll still be the lowest-taxing county school district in the area," he said. "And without the money, we won't be able to build new schools and we'll continue to have overcrowding."

Boone County, the state's third-largest public school district behind Jefferson and Fayette counties, grew by nearly 800 students last year, he said.

Massey said he favors overall changes to the state's school funding formula and to the governance and power of the site-based councils that operate individual schools. He also opposes abortion.

Massey is working on the campaign of GOP gubernatorial candidate Ernie Fletcher.

Karen Byrd, also a member of the Boone County school board, is serving as Massey's treasurer. He said he plans to start raising money as early as next week.


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