GOP 4th Congressional candidates each start with advantages but must raise name ID, Grayson says

02/06/2012 07:40 AM

A trio of Northern Kentucky Republican candidates start with different bases of support and equal challenges of raising their name recognition in Kentucky’s most competitive 2012 primary, said former Secretary of State Trey Grayson.

Grayson, a Northern Kentucky native who is now director of the Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, breaks down the strengths and potential weaknesses of three candidates for the 4th District Republican nomination:

  • Lewis County Judge-Executive Thomas Massie at 0:30 of the video
  • State Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington of Fort Wright at 1:20
  • and Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore at 1:50.

Grayson said it’s essentially evenly-matched with Webb-Edgington perhaps being getting the nod of approval from retiring Congressman Geoff Davis, whose decision in December not to seek a fifth term has created the GOP free-for-all.

“At least privately, it’s thought that she is Congressman Davis’ preferred choice, albeit he’s not really against Gary Moore per se. But he did appoint her to be 4th District chair,” Grayson said. “Most people think that she’s probably the favorite with Massie as a bit of the wild card. But I would say Gary Moore, the Boone County judge-executive, probably has the best name ID in the district.”

In addition to Massie, Webb-Edgington and Moore, two other Republicans have filed so far for the 4th District. Tom Wurtz is a business consultant and tea party activist from Fort Mitchell. And Brian Oerther is a Jefferson County teacher who lives in Oldham County.

One Democrat has filed his candidacy papers — Greg Frank of Corinth.

The legislature bumped back the congressional candidate fling deadline to Feb. 7 from Jan. 31 as legislative leaders continue to negotiate over the next congressional map. T

A draft of the new compromise map suggests that the 4th District pick up Shelby County, part of Spencer County and the Republican area in eastern Jefferson County. And it is likely to lose at least parts of Boyd and Carter counties, House Speaker Greg Stumbo said. The Democratic county of Elliott is almost certainly going to move to the 5th District and counties such as Nicholas and Bath also could move from the 4th into the 6th District.

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