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Thursday, April 19, 2012

MORALITY AND TOURISM TOP MAYORAL CANDIDATE MCDOWELL'S AGENDA

by Michael Monks 
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THE RIVER CITY NEWS MORE COVINGTON NEWS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
Dara McDowell
Dara McDowell believes she felt God calling on her to run for Mayor of Covington and plans to run her underdog campaign in the same low-profile, low-cost vein as her unsuccessful 2010 race against Steve Arlinghaus for Kenton County Judge-Executive. Originally, McDowell hoped to focus primarily on economic issues, job creation, and tourism but when she attended Mayor Chuck Scheper's state of the city address in January her attention was jolted elsewhere. 
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"What I see, what I'm afraid of is that it's not only being condoned, it's being promoted," McDowell said in an interview Thursday with The River City News. It is what the Monte Casino mother of eight refers to as the homosexual agenda. A reference to sexual orientation by Scheper while highlighting the city's diversity during his January speech motivated McDowell to change her campaign's focus. "I'm concerned about leaving behind a town for my children, for all children, that is pro-homosexual agenda." 
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"Most moms don't want to put kids in that environment," she said.
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In addition to social issues McDowell offers up some ideas for economic development. While running for Judge-Executive two years ago tourism was a high campaign priority and it will be again as the mayoral primary approaches in May. "There is so much wasted potential in Covington," she said. "When I ran for judge my heart was in Covington, I was going to focus on Covington. I was going to do I all I could do as judge." One key factor in that plan is propping up the international airport. 
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"We have a direct flight to Paris now," she said. "I would invite people from France to come here and open businesses."
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McDowell and her husband, Jeff, operate A-1 Limousines and home-school their children who range in age from four to sixteen (with a 28-year old who lives outside the home) and attend the Bridge Church in Wilder. She was a resident of Taylor Mill in the 2010 election but moved to Covington shortly after. "There is so much wasted potential in Covington but the potential is amazing," she said. "Downtown has been vacated. We need to come back to an urban renaissance. There are so many beautiful old buildings. It adds to the quality of life to be able to walk or bike to everything you need." She added that jobs can be opened up through tourism which is bolstered by improving the airport. 
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But the issue at the top of her priority list is morality. "(Homosexuality) is a choice," McDowell said. "I think it's important to respect choices, but to promote it? I see the undercurrent of that (in Covington)." In 2003, Covington passed a human rights ordinance that makes it one of three cities in Kentucky to offer protection to its gay citizens from discrimination. McDowell said Thursday that she would oppose gay pride festivals in the city which has held such an event the past two years. "I see what happens at gay pride parades and I don't want them in my town," she said. 
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"The homosexual agenda, the people who are pro-homosexual agenda can see there needs to be some protections for children," McDowell said. 
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McDowell often debates the issue of morality with college students in an online forum that she moderates titled What is Truth?. McDowell recently became a mentor at Covington Independent Public Schools, taking a cue from Mayor Scheper. "I like Mayor Scheper, his proactive approach," she said. "I love how he's involved in mentoring." Scheper's term ends at the end of the year and McDowell faces two established city commissioners in her bid to replace him: Sherry Carran and Steve Casper, two experienced campaigners and 2010's top two vote-getters. 
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McDowell is no stranger to taking on the challenge of an uphill election battle. In 2010, in her effort to upset Arlinghaus, the Orlando, Florida native spent only $600 and publicly campaigned for just three days. She garnered more than 9,000 votes or roughly 25% as an independent. (There was no Democrat in that race and Arlinghaus is a Republican.) McDowell does not expect to raise much more money than she did in 2010 but intends to start knocking on doors soon. 
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"I'm a mom and a citizen and I want to leave behind a town in tact," she said, "a growing, prosperous town for my kids and their contemporaries."

5 comments:

  1. As the god-daughter of a gay Vietnam vet who put his life on the line so she had the right to spew hatred of a sexual orientation, she'll get an earful if she comes knocking on my door. I'd like to ask her how old she was when she decided to be straight.

    Sorry, hate based politicians really get my goat.

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  2. Kudos to Mrs. McDowell for being so civic minded, but in all seriousness if she had the best interest of Covington and it's future in mind; she'd stop playing the 'homosexual agenda' card and focus on the economy and development of this city. Covington's diversity is what makes it a gem in the Commonwealth and the region.

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  3. Looks very much like we have a psychotic bigot running for mayor. She hears voices, telling her what to do. She is full of ignorance based hate and fear, and calls it morality. Yikes.

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  4. What if the people coming to visit Covington on that flight from Paris are gay? Will she force them to take the I-275 bypass around the city?

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  5. The only thing children need to be protected from is hate-filled bigotry like that which this woman spews. She's very obviously never been to a pride parade, that or she's just terrified of rainbows and PFLAG parents.

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