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.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.


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