Just recently, Kentucky State Representative John Arnold of the Seventh District of Kentucky resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment. Arnold was accused of sexual harassing three women at the state capitol earlier this year: Yolanda Costner, Cassaundra Cooper, and Gloria Morgan. Costner claims that Arnold grabbed and pulled her panties, Cooper says Arnold hit her on her behind, and Morgan stated Arnold caressed her lower back and waist. In addition, all three women accuse him of making offensive remarks towards them.
Despite his resignation, the investigation will continue, while Arnold stated he is innocent of all charges. Meanwhile, Governor Steve Beshear will call for a special election to fill Arnold’s seat.
Now, I will tell you a little bit about John Arnold. He is a Democrat from Sturgis, Kentucky, and his district consists of Union County, the southern portion of Henderson County, and the western portion of Daviess County. He has served as a state representative since 1995. Last year, he defeated his challenger, Republican candidate Tim Kline, by a mere 5 votes. When I learned there would be a special election, I hoped Kline would run. But unfortunately, I heard he was not eligible to do so.
The biggest issue surrounding John Arnold is his health, a factor he cited in his resignation (he is 69 years old). Arnold had a stroke not too long ago, and I understand his hearing is not too good. In addition, he seems to be out of touch with what is going on around him. It is unclear whether his condition played a role in his conduct towards the women he allegedly harassed, or if he is just a pervert.
I remember seeing John Arnold last year at the Red, White, and Blue picnic here in Daviess County, in which various candidates running for office spoke (or had someone speak for him or her). His behavior (upon arriving at the event and during his speech) seemed rather awkward. In fact, one of my Tea Party members (unaware of his health problems at first) thought Arnold was drunk.
Here is a video of John Arnold speaking at the event:
Given his health problems, I am surprised he actually ran for re-election last year, not to mention that he has been a state representative since 1995 (this is why term limits are necessary for the Kentucky General Assembly). As I mentioned before, he got re-elected by only five votes. Needless to say, Tim Kline should be in Frankfort serving the people of the Seventh District of Kentucky.
Meanwhile, the local media has not bothered to acquire a recent photo of Arnold, because when I see his photo in the local newspaper, it shows him with dark hair (his hair is gray now, so maybe they are protecting him by making him look younger– one has to wonder). I wouldn’t be surprised if his fellow Democrats convinced him to run so they can maintain control of the State House of Representatives (I should point out that Republicans are a majority in the State Senate).
After Arnold was re-elected, I wondered if he would be able to serve his entire term, due to his health. His health problems have played a role in the end of his political career. But so have the allegations against him. The question is, will he be cleared of these allegations? That has yet to be determined.
Meanwhile, it is yet to be determined who will run for his seat in this special election. And I believe the seat will again be up for grabs in next year’s elections.
Image: Still shot from You Tube video: State Rep. John Arnold speaking at Red, White & Blue Picnic