Democrats kick off James Kay's campaign with $20k as both parties focus on Kay's youth

05/06/2013 09:24 PM

Democratic House candidate James Kay picked up $10,000 from both the Kentucky Democratic Party and the House Democratic caucus Monday as Kay ramped up his campaign for the June 25 special election in the 56th District.

Kay, a 30-year-old attorney, faces Republican nominee Lyen Crews, a 51-year-old administrator at Midway College, in the election to replace Democratic Rep. Carl Rollins, who resigned last month.

High-ranking Democrats including Gov. Steve Beshear, Attorney General Jack Conway, Auditor Adam Edelen and House Democratic leaders outlined to Central Kentucky Democratic how important the win is to preserve the Democratic majority’s cushion in the House. Before Rollins’ resignation, Democrats held the House 55-45.

“For the next seven weeks, we’ve got a heck of a job to do,” Beshear said.

Edelen, 38, pointed to Kay as being part of “the next generation of great legislative leaders.” He noted that House Speaker Greg Stumbo and House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins both began their legislative careers in their late 20s.

Kay served on the staff for former Congressman Ben Chandler and most recently as a legislative aide to House Democratic leaders in the 2013 session.

In an interview with Pure Politics on Monday, Kay said he will support the horse industry’s approach to expanded gambling. But he said he’s not sure if that approach will materialize before the June 25 special election:

Meanwhile, Republicans are seeking to use Kay’s age against him.

As the rally was going on, someone with the Youtube account “Otis Stumbo” posted a one minute video set to the tune of George Thorogood’s “One bourbon, one shot and one beer,” with pictures found online showing Kay at parties. One of the pictures used his mug shot from 2010 when he was arrested in Woodford County for driving 26 miles over the speed limit. The video spread through Twitter, including being retweeted by Lourdes Baez-Schrader, the wife of Franklin County Republican Party Chairman Joel Schrader.

Crews will get his chance to fire up the GOP faithful on Thursday at 6:15 p.m. at a meet-and-greet at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort.


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