Filing Update: Ron Leach joins six-way Democratic primary for U.S. Senate

01/26/2016 03:16 PM

Just minutes before Lexington Mayor Jim Gray created a whirlwind of media interest in the Secretary of State’s Office former Green Beret Medic Ron Leach filed his paperwork to enter the U.S. Senate race.

Leach is a familiar candidate, he last ran in 2014 against U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, a race he lost by 36 percentage points.

The former military man is back and hoping to face Kentucky’s junior U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in the General Election.

Leach was inspired to run by a quote from former Auditor Adam Edelen, who said he opted to sit out the 2016 race after losing his re-election, and was waiting on clearer skies before running again.

“Where I come from it’s a matter of lead, follow or get out-of-the-way,” he said. “The skies have been gray, and cloudy, and stormy for many Kentuckians and Americans for years and decades now and without folks fighting for them in D.C. the forecast doesn’t look good going forward.”

Leach said Paul has “gone Washington, and Iowa and New Hampshire,” as he has been seeking the White House.

The Brandenburg Democrat said that he thinks much of this election will be played out on national security issues. A place where his background could create some space on the topic with Paul.

To reach Paul, Leach will have to emerge from a Democratic primary that has steadily grown throughout the day.

Currently there are six Democrats, including Leach submitting paperwork to seek the office. Leach said the primary will be “very difficult.”

“We have a credible, very strong establishment Democrat who has entered this race and can bring loads of money. I guess I look back at the last couple election cycles and how has that worked from top-fed DSCC, DNC party chosen and anointed folks,” Leach said. “It hasn’t worked out so well for Democrats.”

Leach said the party doesn’t have the structure needed to win major elections in the state, but he hopes to lead a grassroots effort that speaks to the base.

In addition to Gray and Leach, there are four other candidates including Rory Houlihan, Jeff Kender, Tom Recktenwald and Grant Short.

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


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