Labor Youth Award winner enjoys a big bonus tonight

By BERRY CRAIG

AFT Local 1360

Daniel Hurt, 24, of Grand Rivers, earned the Youth Labor Award at the Kentucky State AFL-CIO Convention in Lexington Monday night.

"It was a religious experience," said a grinning Hurt after hearing UMWA President Cecil Roberts raise the roof during his keynote address to about 150 cheering and clapping delegates, family and friends at the Embassy Suites hotel.   

The western Kentuckian savored a big bonus tonight--an unexpectedly large Democratic win at the polls in Virginia he says bodes well for Kentucky next year.

"This is what happens when Democrats, unions and all of our coalition come together, work hard and turn out the vote," said a happy Hurt, a senior at Murray State University. 

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Virginia State AFL-CIO-endorsed candidate for governor, defeated Republican Ed Gillespie by about nine percentage points. Too, the Democrats seemed poised to flip the House of Delegates, where the GOP had a 66-34 edge. (The Democrats have captured at least 14 Republican seats, so far.)

Even before the Democratic romp in the Old Dominion, Hurt predicted the Democrats will win as many as 9 Bluegrass State House seats in November, 2018. The Republicans command a 64-36 majority.

In the New Jersey governor's race, Democrat Phil Murphy unsurprisingly cruised over Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. 

"What happened in Virginia is a preview of what can happen in Kentucky," Hurt said. "You can see the momentum already shifting our way on pensions." 

Hurt is an honorary delegate to the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council, president of the West Kentucky Young Democrats, Livingston County Democratic chair and a member of the state party's central executive committee.

Roberts was also the keynote speaker at the 2015 state convention in Louisville.