For Pam Dossett – the lone Democrat up for Kentucky’s House District 8 seat – the biggest qualification for anyone in public office is a desire to represent people. That’s something the Hopkinsville educator hopes to bring to the Capitol if she’s elected this fall.
Without a primary opponent, Dossett will face the winner of this month’s Republican primary election between incumbent Walker Thomas and Larry Curling. District 8 includes Caldwell county and parts of Christian and Trigg counties.
Dossett has worked in education for three decades, which she says gives her “a heart and the mind for service.” She previously ran for the position in 2020, but didn’t win.
“It gave me a lot of experience in running a campaign and gave me great exposure to voters, getting out into the community and interacting with the public and finding out what it is that they want, that they need for their communities,” Dossett said.
She’s marched for teachers multiple times over the years in Frankfort. Dossett has supported teacher’s pensions, funding for public schools and policies that care for the wellbeing of teachers, students and their families. Her experience as an educator has given her firsthand knowledge of what students and families in the state’s school system are facing.
“We deal with homelessness. We deal with poverty. We deal with hunger. We deal with domestic violence. We deal with child abuse and neglect,” Dossett said. “I see all of these issues firsthand. We even deal with families who have incarcerated family members.”
Dossett said being that close to problems families face gives her the perspective to understand what solutions are actually workable for them. She pointed to the statistic that the biggest group living in poverty is babies and children under 10-years-old.
“What can we do to impact that? How can we change that?” Dossett said. “Those are the big questions, because when families are able to feed their kids, then they can get beyond survival mode and start to thrive.”
Pointing to recent work by Gov. Andy Beshear, Dossett thinks big steps have been taken over the last couple of years to help families. She said funds the state received from the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic that were then used for programs like SNAP benefits or as direct cash to families were helpful.
“I did that because I’m tired of not being listened to. I’m tired of the marginalized people in our streets not being heard and not being cared about,” Dossett said. “My representative (meaning Walker Wood Thomas) does not represent me, does not listen to me, won’t answer my calls, won’t answer my email — that, to me, is not representation.”
However, she did also point to recent decisions by the General Assembly that will more than likely harm families like the tax reforms. Improving things like the tax reforms are on Dossett’s agenda, if she gets the position. She’s also looking at health care access and hopefully creating more jobs in District 8.
“I care about people, I listen to people, and I’m going to do things that are good for this district,” Dossett said.
The 2022 primary elections will take place on May 17.