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Will GOP challenge Yarmuth?

by Joe Arnold


Posted on January 26, 2010 at 1:32 AM

After commercial real estate broker and Financial Consultant Larry Hausman officially entered Kentucky's Third Congressional District race on Monday, I asked him if he was surprised that no "big name" Republicans had seized the moment in the climate of the mid-term elections to face liberal Democrat John Yarmuth.  The other Republicans who have filed in the 3rd are UPS pilot Todd Lally,  Pizza Hut franchisee Jeff Reetz and W. Jerry Durbin of Louisville.

Hausman was refreshingly frank, saying that he too was surprised that bigger names had not jumped in, adding that he had held off on making his campaign official to see if one of "a couple of big names" would run.  With voter anger over Obamacare and with the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts, the Republican Party has been recruiting candidates in districts that - until recently - appeared safely in Democrats' hands.

Hausman declined to name who would qualify as Republicans whose entry would discourage him from running, but I asked around after Hausman's speech at Bowman Field for a few ideas:

Steve Pence - former U.S. Attorney and Lt. Governor who also declined to run for Louisville mayor

Scott Brinkman - state legislator for nine years, is leaving office to focus on law practice 

Scott Jennings - former aide in George W. Bush White House, advises many local Republicans

Bob Russell - former Southeast Christian pastor is emceeing the Jefferson County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner 

Hal Heiner/Chris Thieneman - both already running for Louisville mayor

Anne Northup - former Congresswoman is now with Consumer Product Safety Commission, but if not for failed primary challenge to incumbent Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher in 2007, it would seem that Northup would be in a similar position as former Congressman Mike Sodrel in Southern Indiana.  Sodrel lost to Democrat Baron Hill by nearly 20 points in 2008, but a new poll has Sodrel up by 8 points.

No mention of GOP stalwarts Bobbie Holsclaw, Bill Stone or Rebecca Jackson.

Hausman says he does not expect the National Republican Congressional Committee to target the race.  Would any of the aforementioned Republicans change that?