What is your earliest political memory?
I have fond memories of accompanying my late mother, Teresa Fay Emmons, to the Tilton, Kentucky precinct polling place in the 1960 presidential election. That polling location had been a livery stable. In 1960, voting in Tilton was still being done on paper ballots. I recall watching Mom mark her ballot, fold it, and drop it into the large double-locked metal ballot box. In that election my father was elected to the Fleming County School Board.
Who is your political hero?
I have two: My late father Lowell Lee “Tubby” Emmons (1922-1992). As a school board member, my father helped desegregate our county’s schools. And the underdog “Jimmy Who” that went on to become President Jimmy Carter.
Who is the Republican you admire most (besides Abraham Lincoln)?
The late U. S. Senator John Sherman Cooper for his vocal opposition to the Vietnam War and close personal friendship with President John F. Kennedy.
What is your best political story from the campaign trail?
During the Kentucky primary in 2008, President Clinton was going to make a campaign stop for Hillary in my hometown, a little place called Flemingsburg. There are only 3,000 people in Flemingsburg, but at 11 in the morning there were already 800 people there. The time comes, and Clinton’s not there. So I get on the phone and say, “Where are you all?” My friend Jerry Lundergan, who was with Clinton, says, “They just passed up Flemingsburg. I’ll try to get them to turn around.” I could hear the Secret Service guy saying, “We’re not going there. The place is not secure.” Then President Clinton says, “Jerry, what’s going on?” And Jerry says, “This guy says we’re not going to stop in Flemingsburg, and there are 800 people waiting there to see you.” And Bill Clinton said, “Turn this thing around.” They did a U-turn in the middle of US-32. I had already announced to the crowd that the president was not going to be able to make the stop and that we were very sorry, when in rolls the motorcade.
What would you be doing professionally if you were not working in politics?
If I had to do something else, it would likely be something in the area of promoting social and economic justice within my church, the United Methodist Church.
What is your biggest fear?
That the government will regulate or limit political free speech.
What is your biggest regret?
Our inability to prevent Mitch McConnell from representing Kentucky in the U. S. Senate.
What is your most treasured possession?
Numerous pieces of antique furnishings from my family and hometown.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Having been blessed with a business that has allowed me to work with my two sons: Jamie Emmons and Will Emmons.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
What is your favorite book?
For this profession, Falling Up: How a Redneck Helped Invent Political Consulting by Raymond Strother.