Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

January 18, 2013

RONNIE ELLIS: Can anyone challenge McConnell in 2014?

FRANKFORT — Has Mitch McConnell, Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator and the Republican Minority Leader, concluded he faces little or no danger of a primary challenge in 2014?

A lot of Kentucky’s political junkies believe McConnell, historically ready to cut a deal and who in his 2008 campaign touted his ability to bring federal dollars back to Kentucky, adopted an intransigent tone with President Barack Obama and hawkish positions on issues like the debt ceiling because he feared a tea party challenge in his 2014 re-election bid.

It’s true that many tea party activists in Kentucky aren’t at all happy with McConnell’s role in the deal with Vice President Joe Biden to raise taxes on the wealthy without securing corresponding cuts in spending.

But their frustration doesn’t end there. They’ll say how disappointed they are in the deal and McConnell’s part but then sigh with resignation and concede there is no one who can take him on in a primary.

They know Republican 4th District Congressman Thomas Massie, the libertarian disciple of Ron and Rand Paul, won’t likely do it. Massie said this week in a POLITICO article he has no plans to challenge McConnell. They know McConnell and Rand Paul have forged an alliance and an apparent friendship. Paul has publicly said he knows of no one who can or will challenge McConnell.

Jesse Benton worked for the Pauls and now is McConnell’s 2014 campaign manager.

“Sen. Paul and Sen. McConnell have formed a very strong friendship and have realized the two of them can really deliver for Kentucky,” Benton told THE HILL this week.

He might have added they also realize how much they need each other.

If Paul is serious about national aspirations, he needs McConnell’s help with establishment party figures, fundraising and support. McConnell needs Paul’s support to gain some credibility with Paul followers or at least dampen their willingness to challenge him in a primary.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0723bcfair0083.jpg Boyd County Fair in full swing

    Arriving at the Boyd County Fairgrounds last night, ears were filled with the sounds of children’s laughter, grown-up chatter and the screams of those individuals brave enough to partake of the weathered rides.

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cans, trailer and moving dollies reported stolen to APD

    A thief targeted recyclables in a heist at the Pollard Place group home Friday.

    July 22, 2014

  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison facilities.

    July 22, 2014

  • School discrimination suit settled

    A former Greenup County schools custodian has settled his federal racial discrimination suit against the school district, but the terms will not be made public.

    July 22, 2014

  • Family trip detour provides military thrill for 10-year-old

    Jeremy Crawford’s idea of a good time is a seat beside his papaw, watching their favorite World War II movies.

    July 22, 2014

  • Highlands marks year of progress

    This time last year, the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center was facing an eviction notice. Now, the museum is celebrating a year’s worth of progress where not only does it have ownership of its Winchester Avenue building, but is seeing an upswing in exhibition attendance.

    July 22, 2014

  • First lady recognizes Morehead

    Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Morehead’s achievement in finally reaching Trail Town certification exemplifies the strength and dedication of the small town community during her address Tuesday at the Rowan County Arts Center.

    July 22, 2014

  • Local in brief: 7/23/14

    The inaugual Ride for Autism will be Aug. 23, starting and ending at Callihan’s American Pub & Grill at the Kyova Mall, including a stop at Carter Caves State Resort Park.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723trailtown.jpg First lady recognizes Morehead Trail Town status

    Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Morehead’s achievement in finally reaching “Trail Town” certification exemplifies the strength and dedication of the small town community during her address Tuesday at the Rowan County Arts Center.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison (BOP) facilities.

    July 22, 2014