Facing a trio of challengers, Rep. "Bam" Carney won't seek re-election as minority whip

12/30/2014 04:08 PM

House Minority Whip John “Bam” Carney announced Tuesday he will not run for a second term in Republican leadership, citing a need to focus on his family after remarrying recently.

Carney’s decision sets up the second shuffle in the three-member GOP leadership team with House Minority Caucus Chairman Bob DeWeese’s similar announcement last month. Rep. David Osborne is the only Republican who’s made his interest in the caucus chairmanship public.

Three of Carney’s colleagues — GOP Reps. Ken Upchurch of Monticello, Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green and Sal Santoro of Florence — had their eyes locked on running for minority whip in January’s leadership elections, meaning the Republican caucus will have at least two new leaders.

“After much thought and prayer over the past month, I have decided not to seek re-election for the position of House Republican Whip,” Carney, of Campbellsville, wrote in a letter to House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, according to a news release.

“As many know, I have recently remarried, moved into a new house, and combining our families has been a wonderful experience. With our sons now in high school and leaving the nest in the next couple of years, I feel it is more important for me to devote my time to my family.”

January’s leadership elections could yield an entirely new team heading House Republicans. Hoover, of Jamestown, is facing his first challenger since becoming the House GOP’s leader in 2000 as Rep. Adam Koenig, of Erlanger, announced his bid earlier this month.

Hoover, in a statement, praised Carney for his two years of service as minority whip.

“His leadership in that role is matched by his compassion and desire to serve the people of his district, and the Commonwealth as a whole in striving for the betterment of Kentucky,” Hoover said.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

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