Letter to the Editor


This year marks my 10th year serving in the Kentucky House of Representatives. After much thought and deliberation, I have decided it will also be my last.

Deciding not to run for another term was not an easy choice. The decade I have spent working for the people of the 94th State House District has been one of the most professionally rewarding periods of my life, and I will always look back with pride on the lasting accomplishments of which I have been a part.

I am especially proud of the work we did on the coal county scholarships that are making it easier for students in the mountains to get their four-year college degree close to home. For me, helping our coal families is a way of life and not just a bumper sticker.

As chair of the budget transportation committee, I am proud of our efforts to move the Mountain Parkway expansion forward. This is important work that will provide much-needed infrastructure improvements to Kentucky, helping bring the jobs of the future to the mountains.

Locally, I have been honored to work with numerous officials and business leaders across our region as we have weathered one of our toughest economic periods since the Great Depression. The simple truth is that the powerful interests and political elite in Washington have all too often put their own agendas ahead of the hard-working people of eastern Kentucky, the people who literally keep our lights on. No matter what lies in my future, I will continue to be a champion for our families and give voice to those who are too often not heard.

In that spirit, I will continue working with people across Kentucky to implement the SOAR initiative to provide job growth and economic opportunity to eastern Kentucky. I will also continue to work on solutions to help end the drug epidemic that has hurt too many of our families.

My decision not to run for another term does not mean I have abandoned my motto, “Working for You.” On the contrary, I plan to still be actively involved, just in a different capacity. This will allow me to use my voice, along with our collective voices, in unique ways to help strengthen our communities. Likewise, I will continue doing all I can to support the Democratic Party in Kentucky and to maintain its majority in the House — where it has fought to protect and promote the interests of all Kentuckians.

This decision is not meant to be a “goodbye,” but rather an opportunity to take on new and exciting challenges. I wanted you to learn of my decision first and to know that I have worked tirelessly to make our home a better place to live and work. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your state representative. Thank you for the opportunity to work for you over the last 10 years. My family and I will always treasure it.

Leslie A. Combs

State Representative

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