My name is John Whipple. I am an Independent candidate for the 5th district Kentucky State Senate seat. If you don’t mind, I would like to tell you a few things about myself.
I’m not from Kentucky but have lived here nearly all my life. I am a retired US Army Sergeant First Class and met my wife (Mary) while stationed at Fort Knox. She’s a Meade County girl who taught me to love her home as much as she did. Over the years both our sons were born in Kentucky and we made it our home when I retired from the Army in 2003.
I had a wide variety of assignments while serving in the Army. I started out as an Infantryman serving in Germany and Fort Knox. My final Infantry assignment was as a member of the Presidential Salute Guns Battery, stationed at Arlington Cemetery. At this point I reclassed my MOS and became a military linguist. I was fortunate and over the years was able to learn to speak three languages at the DOD Language School in Monterey, CA. As a German linguist I was a Platoon Sergeant in a tactical Electronic Warfare/Radio Intercept Platoon on the old East-West German Border. As a Serbo-Croatian linguist I flew Direction Finding/Radio Intercept missions as a crew chief in EH-60 Blackhawk helicopters in Tuzla, Bosnia. My first Russian assignment was as a Team Sergeant with a Special Operations Team-A in the 10th Special Forces Group. All of these assignments required a Top-Secret clearance with a Special Background Investigation. My final assignment in the Army was as a consecutive interpreter on START-Nuclear treaty verification missions in Former-Warsaw Pact Nations, such as Russia.
Upon my retirement in 2003 our family returned to Kentucky where I was able to gain Alternative Certification as a language arts teacher and was hired by the Breckinridge County Middle School. Since then I have served two years as their Assistant Principal and returned to the classroom where I now teach social studies.
Over the years I have been become interested in Kentucky politics. It all started with my membership in the Kentucky Education Association. I was asked to serve as local president. When the funding issue with the Teachers Retirement System became an issue, my involvement grew along with it. Now I serve as a member of the KEA Board of Directors. Through KEA I have been involved in several issues and campaigns.
This year was the start of my own campaign. In December and January, I watched to see who was running for 5th District Senate. The only declared candidate was the incumbent.
I have strong feelings about democracy. One of them is that we ought to always have a choice at the voting booth. I could not sit back and watch the incumbent go unchallenged. Our democracy is stronger when our incumbents have a primary challenger and we have strong competition in the general election.
Another belief I have in our democracy is that elected representatives are there for every constituent in the district. This is largely why I am registered as an Independent. If elected to represent the 5th district I will do exactly that. I will gladly listen, and consider, input and advice from all sides. But in the end I will vote for the interests of the people.