John Scoville

John Scoville

John Scoville wants to be the people’s employee, and, as such, is passionate about getting problems solved and changes made. And in his run for the 89th state representative seat, he has been enthusiastically campaigning to make sure people know it.

Scoville said he has been passionate about politics since he was a teenager.

“I guess the first election I actually worked in actively was Barry Goldwater’s campaign,” he recalled. “I generally admired him. He was his own person and he wasn’t controlled by anybody.”

After graduating from high school in Harlan County, Scoville earned his bachelor’s degree to become a teacher. After graduating from Cumberland College, he went on to earn his master’s and Rank 1.

Teaching brought Scoville to Laurel County, where he had spent much time as a child and during his college years.

He worked largely in the northern end of the county, including at Hazel Green Junior High and North Laurel High School.

“Every time they would open a new school, my wife and I would move along to help open it,” he said.

During his 31 years as a teacher, Scoville specialized in teaching kids U.S. government — something he considers an asset in his bid for state rep.

“I think I understand government pretty well,” he said.

He also, it seems, understands the role a state representative should play in it.

“The rep’s job is designed to be the office which is closest to the state,” he said. “It is the intermediary between the state and county governments. It is the person who is out there for the people. It’s very important they understand local issues.”

In Laurel County, Scoville feels one of the top local issues is the juvenile detention center, which has been closed for several years due to structural problems.

“We need to fix it and worry about any litigation later,” he said. “Let’s get it fixed because that’s a lot of jobs and, with transporting the inmates to Breathitt County, the cost to the county is significant.”

Scoville is also carefully considering Saint Joseph-London.

“Saint Joseph is building a fantastic facility here,” he said. “So the issue that arises is what will we do with this very large building here in town? Along with the top ideas I’ve heard would be a V.A. hospital.”

Scoville also feels the area needs a drug treatment facility.

“I would favor a regional drug treatment facility that would offer some hope to people addicted to drugs,” he said. “I think it would be more effective and cheaper than having them go to jail over and over again.”

To get the job done, Scoville said he will rely on his strengths.

“In addition to being a coalition builder, I think I can speak to a lot of different issues,” he said. “I feel I can advocate for a position and I try to get along with people.”

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