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Combs threatens to withhold Obama vote

94th District State Rep. Leslie Combs threatened to withhold her delegate vote from President Barack Obama at this week’s Democratic National Convention unless the president or a member of his staff had addressed concerns she has about the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of coal mining.

Combs, a Pikeville resident who represents Letcher County in the Kentucky General Assembly, is a delegate to the convention being held in Charlotte, N.C. The delegates were scheduled to nominate Obama on Wednesday night, but Combs said she would remain uncommitted if her questions aren’t answered.

In a letter to Obama, Combs said:

“I truly want to support our party at the national level. To do that, though, there has to be better dialog between those of us who proudly serve the country’s coal-mining regions and those overseeing federal regulations that, until recent years, were done in a much more even-handed manner. So far, there has been little assistance for my fellow Democrats and me who cannot stand to see the decimation of an industry that plays such a critical role in our nation’s energy needs and for our state and local economies. There has to be a better way.”

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