94% of GOP state legislators backing McConnell for re-election -- find out who didn't sign on

04/01/2013 01:09 PM

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign is touting the endorsement of “nearly the entire Republican caucus in the Kentucky legislature” in its latest email blast. But four Republican lawmakers haven’t yet endorsed McConnell, and all hail from 5th Congressional District.

The McConnell campaign said that 96 percent of state Senators and 93 percent of state representatives have signed up to support McConnell and will play a part in setting up a campaign operation.

“Our campaign is honored to have such broad support from Republican leaders as we build an operation that will make Kentucky proud,” campaign manager Jesse Benton said in the statement.

Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, is the lone state Senator who did not sign up to support McConnell, according to a list supplied by the campaign.

In the House three GOP lawmakers were absent in their support of the five-term senator: Rep. Tim Couch, from Hyden; Rep. Jim Stewart from Flat lick; Rep. Tommy Turner from Somerset.

Couch said his reluctance to sign has nothing to do with McConnell — it’s more a general cautiousness about not endorsing too soon.

“I am not against McConnell,” he said. “I’ll endorse when it comes time.”

All of the legislators not outwardly supporting McConnell yet are from the congressional district of U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset.

McConnell and Rogers have differed over certain issues in the past. Most recently, they took different sides over industrial hemp. Rogers, who created Operation UNITE an anti-drug task force with millions in federal funding, opposed the issue, and many legislators from his district initially followed suit in the state Capitol when legislation was pending.

And McConnell and Rogers got cross-ways in 2002 when McConnell urged then-Congressman Ernie Fletcher for the 2003 nomination for governor instead of Rogers.

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