Candidate Profile from Congressional QuarterlyErnie Fletcher (R) of Lexington
Fletcher won election to the House on his second try, having earned a respectable 44 percent of the vote against Baesler in 1996
A physician, he counts protecting Social Security and Medicare and reforming health care among his top legislative priorities.
Fletcher wants to foster more preventive care, increase competition, address rising health care costs and enact a patients' rights measure. He is supportive of medical savings accounts and opposes government-run health care.
"You really need people who have expertise in the area," Fletcher says. "I know the inner workings of how to deliver medicine."
Fletcher supports a "fairer, flatter" tax system and elimination of the so-called marriage penalty. He endorses a balanced-budget constitutional amendment and would allocate half of all budget surpluses to reducing the national debt (currently $5.6 trillion).
On education, Fletcher will work to ensure that 90 to 95 percent of education dollars are spent in the classroom. He wants greater parental involvement in education and is supportive of home-schooling and school-choice proposals.
Tobacco farms are rife in the 6th, and Fletcher says he will look out for farmers and resist efforts to increase tobacco taxes.
Well-liked by social conservatives, Fletcher is an abortion opponent who would like to see the procedure opponents call "partial-birth" abortion banned.
Since the Commerce Committee's jurisdiction includes health care, Fletcher is interested in serving on that panel. He has also expressed an interest in the Agriculture Committee.