FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) -- He's one of the most powerful Kentucky State Senators, but that's not stopping a party leader from taking him on in the primary.
Kentucky's 38th Senate District covers parts of Southern Jefferson County and Bullitt County; the current Senator is well known and holds a powerful position in Frankfort but his primary challenger is the head of Bullitt County's Republican Party.
Bullitt County GOP chairman Paul Ham is looking to ride a wave of "outsider" support all the way to Frankfort. So how does the head of a county party come to run against his party's most powerful lawmaker, Senate Majority Caucus Chair Dan Seum, in a primary?
“Well, look, originally I had heard the rumor was he was not going to run last summer and I jumped in”, explained Paul Ham. “And about a month or so after that he changed his mind or either didn't decide to sit out of the race so I didn't change my mind at that point."
“I think that was his rumor,” said Senator Dan Seum.
When asked whether he ever considered retiring, the 38th District Republican added, “No, I was not. My wife has a different take on that but, no, I'm not retiring.”
We caught up with Sen. Seum after a morning he spent putting up signs in the district. He insists that there's no bad blood in this primary, calls Paul Ham's candidacy "just part of the game" and says he's banking on history and works in progress.
“I think we've been successful all the way back on our stance on the last legislative session raising new money,” said Seum when asked about why he should get another chance to serve. “I think we know where new revenue is. Of course, the old vehicle emissions testing issue that we pass years ago. We've got a great record."
Ham insists he's the "new blood" voters crave.
“I made a pledge that I don't want to raise taxes. I know revenue is important, I think the main thrust for me is to represent Bullitt County,” said Ham. “I mean, that was my big thrust and it's been a long time since anybody has been from Bullitt County in Frankfort representing the Senate seat.”
"I'm the guy from Bullitt County and Jefferson County,” insisted Seum. “The district covers both counties so you have to take into consideration both counties and both counties’ needs.”
Both men said, when Tuesday is over, they intend to shake hands and wish each other well. There is a write-in candidate scheduled to be on the ballot, but no Democrat so whoever wins Tuesday will likely be the favorite going into November's General Election.