Boone Co. GOP decides against endorsements in Senate GOP primary

10/11/2013 11:03 AM

BURLINGTON – The Boone County Republican Party decided on Thursday night not to endorse any candidate in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate race after over an hour of debate in the group’s monthly meeting.

Before the meeting, which was attended by a standing room only crowd between 75-100, there was speculation that the Boone County GOP might endorse Louisville businessman Matt Bevin who is running against incumbent Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell.

The movement to possibly endorse was fueled by the fact that the Republican Party of Kentucky discriminates, in the eyes of the Boone GOP, against any challengers to incumbents in primaries.

The Boone GOP passed two resolutions. One, asking the state party to treat all candidates evenly without discrimination and two, that the group would not endorse a Republican candidate in the Senate primary.

Boone County Property Valuation Administrator Cindy Arlinghaus spoke against endorsing.

“It’s a very dangerous slippery slope that we are coming upon because it’s not going to stop at just one race. It’s going to start diving in to local politics and it’s going to start picking our party apart,” Arlinghaus said.

State Senator John Schickel of Union also spoke against endorsing, citing his own experience facing primary opponents as a reason to not take sides in this primary race.

Schickel said, “If we open this door of endorsing candidates, Cindy is exactly right, where does it stop.”

Former State Senator Jay Williams said that it would be hypocritical for the Boone County GOP to endorse candidates after passing a resolution for the Republican Party of Kentucky to not discriminate.

McConnell Campaign Manager Jesse Benton, who during the debate argued against endorsing any candidate, was happy with the Boone County GOP decision.

“I think what the party did here tonight was very good. I think it’s all both candidates could ask for, any candidate, in any race in the state, is that the county party stay neutral,” Benton said.

Bevin was happy with the solution, even though it meant that he did not receive the endorsement of the Boone GOP.

“What happened here is what should happen in every primary which is active dialogue that occurs between voters who have opinions about a particular issue,” said Bevin.

Boone GOP Chairman Rick Brueggemann felt that the it was a wise decision to choose not to endorse.

“The key is, you know, to try to fix what you see as being wrong and not fix it with something else that’s a problem,” Brueggemann said.

Brueggemann suggested that the Boone GOP might look into the future possibility of hosting a debate between Bevin and McConnell before the primary.


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