It seems like yesterday that we were sitting up to all hours of the early morning in my den working on issues, ads and strategy. Not much sleep to be had in the Fall of 2006 between handling the issues and media for Tilley, Madisonville Mayor Will Cox, & Rep. Carl Rollins. I'm starting to look back on that fondly as the years go by. At the time it could be aggravating staying up late while Rep. Tilley sat in my floor working endlessly for hours at a time to maybe change one word, in one sentence, in one paragraph. Tilley, the son of an English major, has an OCD streak in him when it comes to details. Some nights his wife Shelly would be forced to just fall asleep in one of my chairs. There were times I just went to bed and left Tilley and his campaign manager John Lindsey Adams with his one word to fix.
Today, four years later, Rep. John Tilley has filed for another term. Many things have changed since then. Rep. Tilley is now Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Carl Rollins is Chairman of the House Education Committee, & Will Cox will be seeking his second term as Mayor of Madisonville.
The last couple of years have gone by quickly. John & Shelly were married before the Fall Campaign began and now have a new baby. John has work tirelessy on many issues that don't make headlines as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He has managed well in representing his constituents in a very diverse district. House District 8 includes the City of Hopkinsville and part of Trigg County.
I am proud to say that the passage of the Military Income Tax Exemption will go down as one of John Tilley's greatest accomplishments. I often tell Rep. Tilley that one day we will look back and see just how important this legislation was to our area. Many have pushed the Exemption and deserve a piece of the credit but Tilley made it a center piece of his agenda from day one.
Why will John Tilley go unopposed in the Primary and General Election? because he respects the beliefs of his constituency even though he might not always agree. Tilley understands that you run at home not in Frankfort. District 8 is a tough district. The South West end of Hopkinsville along with the Trigg County portion is very Conservative. Inner City Hopkinsville has one of the largest African-American populations in Kentucky per capita. The district comprises a large number of military families and veterans.
Rep. Tilley understands that he can't always balance the geography & ideology with his votes but he can and does try to find issues to champion, that unite the District instead of dividing it. Focusing on issues like education, protecting our children, health care and our military & veterans is the reason why Rep. Tilley will be returned to Frankfort without opposition.