Paula Clemons-Combs grew up in Breathitt County, Kentucky. She graduated from Breathitt County High School, attended Lees Junior College (now part of KCTC System) and later Morehead State University. Paula earned her undergraduate Bachelor of Arts with a double- major in English and French with a teaching certification in both areas. After graduation, she returned home to begin what is now a twenty-year teaching career in public education. During the years, Paula has earned advanced degrees in the educational field and has had the honor of working with students and their families as an advocate to promote post-secondary life planning and academic achievement.
Paula is the only child of James and Peggy Haddix Clemons. Peggy chose to devote the early years of her marriage to raising Paula while James pursued various paths of employment to provide for his family. He departed his college experience one class shy of earning his college degree only to return fifteen years later to finish and become a social worker. He worked as a coal truck owner-operator, mechanic, heavy equipment operator, and later as an OTR driver after leaving social work.
Paula is the granddaughter of Mitchell and Lillian Mullins Haddix, and Ervine and June Holbrook Clemons. Her mamaw June is very supportive of her candidacy, stating, “I wish the rest of them were here now to see you standing up for your people.” Paula is married to Raymond Combs. They are the proud parents of three children: Audrey, Nathaniel, and Grant.
Seeking the State Senator seat for District 30 is Paula’s first venture into running for office. What she lacks in experience as a professional politician she makes up for in drive and desire – she is fully vested in seeing not just Bell, Breathitt, Leslie, Johnson, Magoffin, and Perry counties prospering again, but also the entire region. After all, she is raising her family here and she wants her children and yours to have a future here. Paula will stay involved with the communities in her district because she wants to see real changes that are positive and can sustain themselves throughout the years.