State Rep. Tommy Turner is equally comfortable hashing out legislation in the state’s capital or roaming the farm in the hilly eastern part of the county, a farm in his family more than 150 years.
Tommy, a Republican, has been in the state legislature 16 years. His down-to-earth approach translates to not carrying a smartphone, dressing casually and handling his own appointments. He spends a good deal of time traveling through Pulaski County to talk with people about their needs, he says.
“I like meeting people in person, not through email or the computer,” says Tommy while on the way to a breakfast meeting with a representative of the Kentucky Association of Food Banks. “This is how most politicians should be — out there with the people.”
Tommy describes himself as conservative Republican, but says some of his closest friends in the legislature are Democrats.
“Good people are on both sides,” he says.
Carol Sexton, who works at the Pulaski County Public Library, says Tommy helped get money for libraries in the state.
“He’s a good man who loves Somerset,” she says.
During legislative breaks, Tommy spends time with his family and on his farm. He hunts squirrels, fishes, trains hunting dogs and rides all-terrain vehicles — and hunts for arrowheads to add to his collection.
“I love my job, and I enjoy doing it, but my true love is farming and being out in nature,” says Tommy.
Scott Hyden, a hunting buddy, says he learned a lot from Tommy about training hunting dogs.
“Tommy is just a good old boy,” says Scott.
Tommy maintains a close relationship with his grandson Blake, 9.
“Blake is my best buddy, my first grandkid,” Tommy says with a smile. “I’m glad he gets to grow up on this farm.”
However, Tommy knows growing up for Blake is different.
“Me and my buddy used to go out coon hunting at night, and the dogs would run so far in the woods that you would spend all night going in after them and wouldn’t return until sunbreak,” he says. “My parents didn’t worry, not one bit. But in today’s world, they would have a search and rescue team out looking for you.”
Meanwhile, Tommy wants to help people and help bring jobs to the county, he says.
“I don’t give myself the credit, I give the people the credit,” he says. “I’ve had lots of opportunities in life, and people have been very good to me, so I have to give back.”
"People think that when you get older you have more time. But that's not true," State Representive Tommy Turner says as he drives to meet with a constituent in Pulaski County. Tommy prefers to meet people in a casual setting. "I want to hear from them what they want and why they want it," he says.
State Representive Tommy Turner waits for his son to help him move bales of hay. "My son Chris helps me a lot on the farm, but I still do most of the work and won't quit till I die," Tommy says.
State Representive Tommy Turner walks with his grandson Blake at his family farm. "If you ask Blake where he's going to live, I bet he'd say here," Tommy says. The farm has been in the family for more than 150 years.
State Representive Tommy Turner watches his grandson Blake tie a rope around the hand of a statue on his porch. "I feel lucky to be able to watch my grandchildren grow up," Tommy says. "Most people don't get that chance."
State Representive Tommy Turner laughs as he watches his grandson Blake chase a chicken on the family farm.
State Representive Tommy Turner takes a moment to relax after picking his grandson Blake up from school. "It's nice to take a moment and watch my grandkids play," Tommy says. "Makes you want to be a kid yourself."
State Representive Tommy Turner follows a group of puppies as they walk toward Tommy's house and his grandson Blake.
State Representive Tommy Turner watches his grandson Blake try to wrestle with one of the goats at the family farm.
State Representive Tommy Turner speaks with a group of fellow Republicans at their headquarters in downtown Somerset. Tommy was selected to introduce James Comer (not pictured), who is running for Agriculture Commissioner in Kentucky.
State Representive Tommy Turner waits at Rupublican headquarters in downtown Somerset for James Comer and Todd P'Pool to arrive to give a speech to the locals of Pulaski County. James Comer is running for Agriculture Commissioner while Todd P'Pool is running for Attorney General.
"I like meeting people in person, not through email or the computer," Tommy Taylor says during a meeting with a representative of the Kentucky Association of Food Banks. "This is how most politicians should be -- out there with the people."
A constituent waves down State Representive Tommy Turner to talk about trespassers on his land.
State Representive Tommy Turner hangs out with a group of locals at a small store in Pulaski County.
State Representive Tommy Turner looks up into the trees while preparing his gun during a squirrel hunt. "Where is he?" Tommy asks as his hunting dog barks into the trees. "I love hunting and spending time on my land."