GOP Senator backs Democratic auditor's re-election bid; Edelen launches video featuring praise from other prominent Republicans

09/01/2015 12:25 PM

UPDATED: Auditor Adam Edelen launched a social media ad on Tuesday featuring prominent statewide Republicans lauding the achievements of the Democrat who is running for re-election.

The ad which is published on Edelen’s social media sites highlights elected state Senators and one Constitutional office holder praising Edelen’s record in committee meetings and at press conferences.

At least one Republican featured in the video contacted by Pure Politics is backing Edelen in the campaign, and another wants his image removed from the video.

Sen. Chris Girdler, R-Somerset, told Pure Politics in a phone interview that he will back Edelen in the Election.

“I do plan on supporting Auditor Edelen in his campaign,” Girdler said. “I believe that Adam has done a tremendous job of working across party lines and will continue to provide tremendous leadership and create a checks and balances for good government.”

Girdler said the endorsement of Edelen is “in no way a reflection on Mike Harmon.”

“I think Mike is a good man, but in this particular instance I believe that Auditor Edelen has done a tremendous job as state auditor and he deserves four more years.”

Harmon, who also appears in the video, said that he had not spoken with Girdler and the news comes as “bit of a surprise.”

“I don’t know much more that you can say,” Harmon said. “My particular work with him has been fine. I know who he is at the party. I know he’s had some brief period of time here in the General Assembly.”

In a phone interview with Pure Politics, Harmon said he thought his portion of the video had been taken out of context.

“My snippet was taken somewhat out of context, and I don’t know about the rest of them,” he said.

Harmon’s portion of the video was taken from an interview with Pure Politics in reference to a question about Edelen’s use of earned media in the campaign.

In a statement accompanying the video Edelen said he was honored to have “so many Republican elected officials speak so highly of my tenure as State Auditor.”

“Their kind remarks and high praise illustrate the bipartisan record of accomplishments and reforms that my office has spearheaded throughout the last four years,” Edelen said in a statement.

While Girdler heaped praise on Edelen, Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said he has called on Edelen to remove his image from the advertisement.

Thayer told Pure Politics that he is supporting Harmon in the race.

“I asked Edelen to take it down, because I’m not voting for him,” Thayer said. “I’m voting for Mike Harmon.”

Thayer said if Edelen does not remove his image from the promotion by 5:00 pm he will have “much more to say” on why Edelen should not be re-elected.

David Miller, Edelen’s communications director, told Pure Politics Edelen’s campaign does not intend to remove Thayer from the video.

“If partisan politics is more important than good government to Sen. Damon Thayer then maybe he should be more judicious in his comments made in committee hearings when discussing Auditor Edelen’s unparalleled record of bipartisan accomplishments,” Miller said in a phone interview.

Other key Republicans in the video include: Sen. Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro; Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer; Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill; and Rep. Brad Montell, R-Shelbyville.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, 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 the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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