Senator Georgia Powers, a civil rights heroine who in 1967 became the first woman and first person of color elected to the Kentucky State Senate, cut a powerful radio ad for Democratic U.S. Senatorial candidate and Kentucky’s Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Powers said Grimes would continue the fight of the 60s, protecting voting rights and working for the minimum wage, “Mitch McConnell and the Republicans are trying to take away our right to vote… She’ll be a voice for all of us, fighting to raise the minimum wage and protect our voting rights.”
To emphasize her point about the ongoing fight, Powers added, “I was the first African-American and woman elected to the Kentucky Senate; now, Alison could be our first Kentucky woman to serve in the United States Senate.”
Georgia Powers: This is Senator Georgia Powers.
I’ve been on the front line of many battles for our community and Kentucky, from fighting for our civil rights in the ’60s to advocating for people of color, women, children, and the voiceless.
But there are new challenges today.
Mitch McConnell and the Republicans are trying to take away our right to vote.
That’s why our community and faith leaders are rallying behind Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.
I was the first African-American and woman elected to the Kentucky Senate; now, Alison could be our first Kentucky woman to serve in the United States Senate.
She’ll be a voice for all of us, fighting to raise the minimum wage and protect our voting rights.
Let’s come together to make our voice heard. Join me in voting for Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes on November 4th.
Alison Lundergan Grimes: I’m Alison Lundergan Grimes, candidate for Senate, and I approve this message.
Governor Breathitt described Powers as a hero of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky (h/t Wikipedia):
Georgia Davis Powers, was a great leader and a strong supporter of Dr. King and represented his views in Kentucky very effectively. She was later a member of the Kentucky State Senate, a very influential member from Louisville, and I would consider her one of the real heroes of the Civil Rights Movement in this state; and one of the most effective civil rights leaders in this state… She was effective in the Senate and in politics through the art of persuasion. She did not antagonize people. She was very strong in her positions, but she has a wonderful personality and people liked her. And she would get votes very effectively for the causes she believed in. She just was a vote getter and a great lobbyist and persistent; but a wonderful warm personality. Everybody was crazy about her.
A key point about Breathitt’s description of Powers is that it also applies to Grimes: “She was effective in the Senate and in politics through the art of persuasion. She did not antagonize people. She was very strong in her positions, but she has a wonderful personality and people liked her.”
Liberals may disagree with Grimes on many things (coal and Obama, for starters), but what Kentuckians like Senator Powers understand is that real change has to first get into power and then continue effecting change by influencing hearts and minds. The issue of voting rights, something Grimes has long defended, is big enough to get out the vote. Grimes even sued to protect military and overseas votes. When you add the minimum wage to it, it’s a no-brainer. Top that off with Kynect, the state’s very effective Obamacare exchange that McConnell wants to destroy, and informed voters simply need to turn out.
In the South, especially, the art of persuasion is appreciated and goes a long way. Grimes is someone who has already shown that she is loyal first and foremost to Kentuckians. Senator Powers is right: McConnell and his party are actively working to take away voting rights for minorities, young people in college, and women, whereas Alison Lundergan Grimes values and respects everyone’s right to vote and she has fought throughout her life to protect that right.
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