Fourth District Dinner unites Kentucky RepublicansPosted by Aaron Gillum on March 2, 2015
HEBRON, Ky. — A crowd of more than 250 rose to their feet in Northern Kentucky on Saturday night, to applaud and give thanks to Congressman Thomas Massie – not once, but twice.
Offering insight into his most recent transgressions at the capitol, Massie cautioned not to get caught “Looking the other way” with congressional business as Benjamin Netanyahu will be in town to address the session. Massie offered that these media marquee events were often used as distractions, where covertly, unpopular legislation could be snuck through the system without much attention.
Massie said that he found sitting on the aisle in congress, was the best way to bridge the gap and learn what opinions were being discussed that might be contrary to your own. Working with Jared Polis (D – CO) as a co-sponsor of pro-hemp legislation, Massie cited as an example of those who were often polar opposites, coming together for the greater good.
Massie’s always pleasant candor, was well received. It served as a reminder of the unity and common ideals of Northern Kentucky, and capped off an evening where each of the four Republican gubernatorial candidates, where the party is very much divided on support, were given an opportunity to speak.
Hal Heiner drew the first slot, and used his time to champion the recent success of the party, the leadership of Senator Paul, and leadership of Congressman Massie. Heiner encouraged us to look around, and see that Indiana, Tennessee, and Illinois have all installed conservative businessmen, not politicians, as Governors, and to look at the success that is following. “Companies love Kentucky,” quipped Heiner “but they can’t stand Frankfort.” Heiner joked that his daughter had to go to Texas to find opportunity after college, and had married a Texan and started a family; in Texas, while referencing the impact on Northern Kentucky of Toyota’s recent decision to relocate there. Heiner did not speak of running mate, K.C. Crosbie.
Mat Bevin spoke second. After introducing two of his daughters, Olivia and Sophia, Bevin was quick to get into detail about the many problems plaguing Frankfort. Bevin and running mate Jenean Hampton had unveiled their ‘Blueprint for a Better Kentucky‘ earlier in the week. Bevin referenced the blueprint frequently, and cited his hands on experience as pension manager of more than $5 Billion in assets with a company “I started in my basement” as invaluable to addressing the state employee’s pension crisis.
“There are ten reasons I’m in this race,” Bevin offered, “two of them are here with me tonight. We cannot continue to kick the can down the road.” Matt and his wife have 9 children, which he joked isn’t a lot by Northern Kentucky standards. Addressing a commonly voiced opinion that he was very late to enter the race, Bevin argued, “What could be more American than challenging at the last minute?” Bevin shared that he and Hampton are both active duty military veterans.
Current Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and former longtime state representative Jamie Comer, spoke third. Referencing his background as a large farm owner, and experience in banking, Comer also spoke of the growth of business in our surrounding states; attributing it to Republican leadership. Comer focused on his tenure as Commissioner and the downsizing of the department on his watch, vowing to bring that mindset forward. “State government can be more efficient.” Comer spoke that in his opinion, we need to treat our high Medicaid enrollment as a poverty problem, to best be solved by creating jobs. Running mate Senator Chris McDaniel, would be charged with financial oversight in the Comer administration.
Judge Will T. Scott was the final candidate to address the room. Scott and running mate Rodney Coffey are leaving their recently elected posts to seek the governor’s office. Scott spoke of Kentucky’s most pressing issues as pension funding, and addressing issues with the penal system and department of corrections. Scott believes that a restructuring of the penal code, as well as a new minimum security prison would go far to correct the drug related crimes in the state. Citing first hand experience in his family with drug abuse, relapse and successful recovery, Scott stated that he would not “have another death on his hands” from the state’s growing drug problem.
The Kentucky Republican gubernatorial primary election will be held on May 19, 2015.
More can be learned about the candidates via their campaign websites:
Hal Heiner – HalHeiner.com
Matt Bevin – MattBevin.com
Jamie Comer – JamesComer.com
Will T. Scott – WillTScott.com
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