Goddard: 'a strong voice for working people'

By BERRY CRAIG

AFT Local 1360

Charlotte Goddard has signed her candidate papers for the May 22 Democratic primary in the Second House District.

“You can count on me to be a strong voice for working people,” said Goddard, who lives near Pottsville in north Graves County and teaches at Caldwell County Elementary School in Princeton.

She mailed her papers to the secretary of state’s office in Frankfort today.

She announced her candidacy Thursday night in Paducah at monthly meetings of the McCracken County Democratic Executive Committee and the Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council. The Second District includes Graves County and a small slice of southern McCracken County.

Incumbent Richard Heath, a Republican, has yet to file. Unions consider Heath, a tea party conservative, one of the most anti-labor lawmakers in the General Assembly.

Last year, he voted for a trio of union-busting bills: a “right to work” law, a measure to repeal the prevailing wage and paycheck deception legislation. Heath's votes landed him on USW District 8's "Wall of Shame" banners. 

“I understand the importance of unions,” Goddard told council delegates. She is a member of the Kentucky Education Association and her husband, Billy, belonged to USW Local 665 at the Mayfield Continental-General Tire plant, which was closed and torn down.

Goddard said she would have voted against RTW, PW repeal and paycheck deception. That would have earned her a spot on District 8's "Wall of Fame" side of the banners.

She pledged to partner with state and local leaders of business, organized labor and government to try to bring more industrial jobs to the Second District. "Union wages built the middle class in Graves County and the whole country,” she said.

Goddard also promised to champion public schools, which unions have long supported. She opposes charter schools, which rob public schools of much needed funds. Heath co-sponsored a charter school bill in 2017.

She also is against Gov. Matt Bevin’s pension plan for public employees, which would cut some benefits for current personnel and retirees and force most new hires into risky 401(a) plans. "The KEA is in the fight to save our pensions," Goddard said.  

At a Mayfield town hall style forum Goddard co-hosted, Heath said he opposed Bevin's pension legislation as written. But he was vague on details of an alternative House bill the Republicans have been crafting without Democratic input. 

"A pension is a promise,” Goddard said. “Do you trust the governor and the Republicans in the legislature to keep that promise? I don’t.”

She and her husband have two children, Emily and Nicholas. Emily is a senior at Graves County High School, and Nicholas is in the second grade at Lowes Elementary School.

Goddard is organizing her campaign. Anyone interested in volunteering or wanting more information about her may phone or text her at (270) 970-8953. Her email address is [email protected]