2011 Republican campaigns try to catch 'Rand-slide' momentum

11/04/2010 12:50 PM

BOWLING GREEN — After Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul’s 11.5-point win Tuesday several Republican candidates who are running for statewide office next year were eager to be seen with Paul.

Both Republican candidates who have announced their candidacy for next year’s governors races worked the GOP crowd at ballroom of the Sloan Convention Center during Paul’s election night celebration.

State Senate President David Williams and his running mate Richie Farmer did interviews and greeted Paul supporters, as did Phil Moffett — a Louisville businessman who is seeking the tea party label in next year’s GOP primary. Also present was Bill Johnson, a Todd County businessman who has announced for Secretary of State.

Those candidates have tried to cozy up to the Paul campaign or the candidate himself in recent weeks.

Moffett’s campaign is being managed by David Adams, who managed Paul during his primary campaign.

And Williams was named a surrogate speaker for Paul in the last month of the campaign and traveled the state with Paul. (Click here to see what Paul thought of a potential Williams candidacy in July).

Paul, however, said he plans to stay out of the governor’s race in 2011. Instead, he said the decision between Moffett and Williams should be left to the voters.

Williams said Tuesday night that his ticket was the best for Paul’s coalition of Republicans, independents and conservative Democrats to vote for in 2011:

But Adams, who managed Paul’s campaign when it really started taking off, said just because one candidate campaigns next to another doesn’t mean a particular voting bloc will follow.

Johnson, who wore a “I’m a Rand Fan,” sticker, ran in last spring’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate against Paul and current Secretary of State Trey Grayson.

Johnson, who announced last month he is running for Secretary of State, said Paul’s victory was the start of something bigger next year.

One thing that all three agreed on: that Paul’s victory and the tea party movement wasn’t going to be a one-hit wonder.

But not all Republicans believe the tea party movement will translate well into a governor’s race. Marcus Carey, publisher of BluegrassBulletin.com, said on Pure Politics Wednesday night that the governor’s race will be fought more over state issues than the themes of national debt and federal spending that really fueled tea party interest.

-Reporting and videos produced by Kenny Colston with Chris Bratton


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