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John "Bam" Carney has filed as a Republican candidate for 51st District State Representative, an office currently held by Republican Russ Mobley. The district covers Taylor and Adair counties.
Mobley announced earlier this month that he will not seek re-election. Republicans Russell Montgomery and Asa James Swan have also filed for the seat.
Carney filed the necessary paperwork in Frankfort on Tuesday.
A native of the Yuma/Speck Ridge area, Carney has been a public school teacher and coach for 11 years and currently teaches social studies at Taylor County High School. Prior to teaching, Carney worked five years for the Campbellsville Municipal Water Co.
"I have decided to run for this office out of love for both communities," Carney stated in a news release. "I have a great desire to work with the people in the 51st District to be our voice in Frankfort to meet the needs of Adair and Taylor counties.
"Advancing our public schools, continuing investment in our institutions of higher education, health care issues, improving our local infrastructure and seeing more jobs and industry here are just a few concerns that come to mind. It is in my heart to see this District flourish and I would be honored to represent us to make that happen."
Current State Rep. Russ Mobley has shown Carney some support.
"I'm happy to see Bam show such interest for serving in government. He has shown that he is quite capable of representing the people of the 51st District."
If elected, Carney says he intends to build a strong relationship with area senators Vernon McGaha and Dan Kelly in hopes of building a bridge to see several local projects come to fruition. Carney states that he will work closely with the elected officials of both communities and that he plans to form an advisory team comprised of Adair and Taylor county Democrats and Republicans.
Carney said this team will help him to stay in touch with a "cross-section of my constituency, from farmers to teachers to business owners. It is my hope that I can truly represent the needs of everyone I work for.
"In order to advance our communities we must all work together. United we can create great opportunities for our children and grandchildren."
Carney is the son of June Carney and the late Don Carney of Elk Horn and the grandson of the late W.J. "Bug" and Irene Eastridge Gabehart of Casey Creek and Stanley Jr. and Christine Carney of Columbia. He attended Knifley Grade Center and Taylor County High School.
In 1991, Carney received a B.A. in history from Berea College with an emphasis in political science. He later earned his teacher certification from Campbellsville University and an M.A. in instructional leadership from Eastern Kentucky University.
Carney is married to Jenifer Martin Carney of Springfield. The couple has two children - Chase, 9, and Ethan, 8. He is a member of Living Grace Church.