Political Blog

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date


GOP Update: KY U.S. Senate race

by Joe Arnold


Posted on January 27, 2010 at 2:15 AM

The field is set in the race to replace Jim Bunning as Kentucky's junior U.S. Senator.

Here are the Republican candidates with applicable updates:

Rand Paul

  • Paul is appearing at a "debate" sponsored by the U of L College Republicans Wednesday night.  Paul's campaign is hammering Trey Grayson for not accepting the debate invitation, but has not said a word about Republican Bill Johnson, who wants to participate, getting shut out of the debate.  The College Republicans have not explained why Johnson is not invited. 7pm at the Horn Auditorium (Room 106) at the College of Business, University of Louisville Belknap campus.
  • At 4pm Saturday, after Dr. Paul and supporters canvas Louisville neighborhoods for several hours,  his iconic libertarian father Ron Paul, whose like-minded supporters have flooded the Senate campaign with donations, will make an appearance with Rand Paul at the Kentucky Exposition Center.  Admission is just $25 per adult and children are free.  At 3pm, the Pauls meet and greet $500 donors.
  • Rand Paul's campaign has adjusted its demands of Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the other frontrunner in the Republican primary.  Initially, the Paul campaign requested Grayson recuse himself from "counting" the votes, but after Grayson's office pointed out that each county clerk's office counts the votes and the SOS's office merely certifies the election results, Paul's campaign now says that Grayson should recuse himself from "overseeing the U.S. Senate primary election."  “The public must know, with absolute certainty, that the elections in which they vote are free from even the scent of impropriety or conflict of interest,"  Paul said in a statement.  For all the grief the Paul campaign has given Grayson for supporting Bill Clinton when Grayson was in college, it's surprising that Paul's campaign manager David Adams cites another former Democrat President, Jimmy Carter, in his argument:

“Perhaps Mr. Grayson should follow the advice of former President Carter’s findings in the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Electoral Reform.   Chapter Six of that report recommends eliminating partisan management of elections in America.  If this issue was important enough to Congress and this commission, it should also be important enough to Mr. Grayson.”

Trey Grayson

  • Affirming a position he had indicated in an interview with me last week, Grayson on Tuesday  said he would oppose the confirmation of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.  In the news release, Grayson does not mention Rand Paul, instead challenging Democrat Senate frontrunners Dan Mongiardo and Jack Conway to tell Kentuckians how they would vote.
                “America had a near financial meltdown in 2008.  The Federal Reserve’s policies and lack of oversight played a significant role in this crisis.  Chairman Bernanke should be held accountable for the decisions he made that contributed to the economic crisis that we continue to endure.  Under his watch, the Federal Reserve has worked to avoid additional Congressional oversight and has failed the American people.  Therefore, I would vote against Chairman Benanke’s confirmation for a second term, and I call on Dan Mongiardo and Jack Conway to tell Kentuckians how they would vote on this important issue.”

Bill Johnson

The Todd County businessman is clamoring to be heard (see the UL debate info above) and has launched a mock newspaper on his campaign website to answer questions like: 

  • Why do you call yourself a Ronald Reagan Republican? Like Reagan, I trust the people of this country and believe in getting
    government out of their way.  Lets cut taxes, deregulate, balance the budget, and pay off the debt.  I also support the Reagan platform of personhood and constitutional protection for the unborn.  Reagan inspired me to military
    service with his “peace through strength” approach to keeping America safe. He also supported an energy policy of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, oil) and nuclear which I believe to be the answer to energy independence.

Gurley L. Martin

  • 86 year old Owensboro man promises to retire after two six-year terms.
  • Offers a rambling "epistle" to describe the reason for his candidacy "Dear Kentucky Citizen/Voter: The attached four pages; are for your amusement and edification - JUST BECAUSE I CAN."  Disputes Barack Obama's U.S. birth and offers his own birth certificate for review.

Jon Scribner 

  • Gray, KY man filed January 20.
  • I am just a common citizen of Kentucky, I believe in  a goverment of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the lobbyist for the politician. The candidate you vote for should be truthful, moral and not give vague answers to questions.  I believe in Kentucky first.  Voters, hold us all accountable!   I do not want donations for my campaign, if you want to donate something then give it to someone who may be going through foreclosure on their homes, or donate to the Haiti Relief fund.

John Stephenson 

  • Ft. Mitchell, KY man filed January 25
  • From the AP:  Former Superintendent of Public Instruction John Stephenson has filed to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Jim Bunning.   Stephenson filed Monday afternoon, officially becoming the fourth Republican in the race. He will face Secretary of State Trey Grayson, western Kentucky business Bill Johnson and Bowling Green eye surgeon Rand Paul.   The 66-year-old Stephenson, a resident of Independence, said he entered the race because he believes God is calling him to speak out on moral issues. He said he has nothing against any of the Republicans who have already filed.  Stephenson also said he intends to spend less than $5,000 on the election.