Ethics questions could potentially hurt Democrats in general elections, Rep. Combs admits

06/24/2014 01:59 PM

After a year of fending off ethics violations charges, the defeat of a long time Democratic state representative in the primary election could signal issues ahead for the House Democrats according to one of their members.

State Rep. Leslie Combs, D-Pikeville, said she expects the House Democratic caucus to be accepting of Representative-elect Chris Harris even after the hard fought campaign where he sought to define one of their own, Representative Keith Hall, as the most corrupt legislator in Frankfort .

But Combs did admit that she could see that type of campaigning on ethics questions could harm other Democrats up for election in the fall.

“In today’s age and the way people politic, they use whatever is available to them. While that was intended for this specific race by that candidate, sure [it could hurt Democrats],” Combs said. “I mean, I think people use any information they can today. Depending on how you want to run your race, it is possible.”

Listen to the full discussion with Combs in the video below:

However, Combs said she does not like it when candidates try to lump their opponent in with other members of their party. For example, Combs compared the use of ethics problems in House elections to the way Kentucky U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and other Republicans in the state are seeking to link Alison Lundergan Grimes to President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

As for McConnell’s influence argument and the point he tries to illustrate about trading a member of leadership for a freshman member of Congress, Combs said new members of a legislative body are not powerless.

“I remember coming in as a freshman legislator too and as far as I was concerned, I could do anything I put my mind to,” Combs said (at 2:00). “And I learned real quick how it works and what you’ve got to do but at the same time I just kept my head down and fought for what I believed in.”

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Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.

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