Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

November 28, 2013

RONNIE ELLIS: It's complicated being a Kentucky Republican these days

FRANKFORT — When Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer went to Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers’ hometown to say, “The days of party bosses hand-picking candidates must end,” people noticed.

When former Rogers staffer and Republican state Sen. Chris Girdler responded with an op-ed in the Somerset Commonwealth Journal that Comer’s “baffling remarks” deepened existing wounds, people also noticed.

But they may not notice the spat is an example of prior grievances and complicated present alliances inside the Republican Party of Kentucky.

Rogers and Comer differ on the legalization of hemp, and there’s been scuttlebutt Rogers encouraged Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner to run for governor against presumptive favorite Comer. Heiner and Rogers dismiss those rumors.

Others speculated Comer was also talking about U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who has a history of inserting himself into other Republican campaigns. Rogers was believed to be interested in running for governor in 2003 but McConnell backed Ernie Fletcher. Then McConnell and Senate colleague Jim Bunning abandoned Fletcher for Anne Northup in 2007.

In 2010 McConnell pushed Bunning out of the Senate race and supported Trey Grayson against tea party upstart Rand Paul. When that didn’t work out McConnell moved into Paul’s corner, and they are now (uneasy?) allies, each coveting the other’s blessing to advance his own political aspirations.

As William Faulkner said: the past isn’t dead; it’s not even past. People remember. They choose sides.

McConnell faces his toughest re-election fight next year, his life-long goal of becoming Senate Majority Leader agonizingly within reach but not yet quite within his grasp. In the same election cycle, Republicans see a chance to gain control of the state House to go with the state Senate they already control. The following year, there’s an open governor’s seat. Comer garnered more votes than all other candidates, Democrat or Republican, in 2011, making him the presumed favorite in 2015. Then comes 2016 and Paul’s dreams of running for president.

Text Only
Columns
  • Mark Maynard: Let’s just forget about it: 04/17/14

    The older I get, the more forgetful I become. Does that sound familiar?

    April 16, 2014

  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.
     

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.
     

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.
     

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.
     

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014

  • Sweet thoughts on the season

    So far, I’ve been a good girl. Or a pretty good girl anyway. See, I have this thing for Reese’s peanut butter eggs. Homemade peanut butter eggs? Eh. I can take ‘em or leave ‘em.
     

    April 7, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
SEC Zone