Gov.-elect Bevin will headline fundraiser benefiting lawmaker who flipped to GOP

12/04/2015 04:44 PM

UPDATED: Gov.-elect Matt Bevin is tossing his support behind Rep. Denny Butler — a Louisville lawmaker who recently switched party affiliation from a Democrat to Republican.

Bevin is headlining an invitation-only fundraiser in Louisville on Dec. 18, which will feature other prominent members of the GOP.

Bevin was not immediately available for comment at the time this story was published.

Mentioned in the invitation are two other Louisville GOP lawmakers, Sen. Julie Raque Adams and Rep. Bob DeWeese.

Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman Mac Brown; Bill Samuels, the chairman emeritus of Makers Mark bourbon; and Steve Williams, the CEO of Norton Healthcare, will also be in attendance, according to a fundraiser invitation obtained by Pure Politics.

Contributions solicited in the invitation include: $1,000 host level; $500 co-host; and $250 per attendee of the fundraiser.

Butler, a retired police sergeant and the son of the late former state Rep. Denver Butler, did not return a message seeking comment.

After Butler’s flip in allegiances on Nov. 19, House Speaker Greg Stumbo told Pure Politics that Butler’s change in registration likely stems from a feud between Butler and retiring Democratic lawmaker Rep. Larry Clark.

Clark endorsed Democratic candidate Alan Gentry in the Democratic primary to replace him in the 46th House District over Butler’s brother Matt, who later dropped out of that race.

The endorsement around Butler’s family wasn’t the first time the two butted heads. In 2014, Clark endorsed Wilder Democratic Rep. Dennis Keene over Butler to replace Clark as House speaker pro tem in Democratic leadership.

Butler had also expressed concerns over law enforcement funding for firefighter and police resources which pay for training and incentive pay.

In an email sent to House leadership and some members of the media announcing his party switch, Butler said he was met with “resistance and disregard from leaders of the Democrat Party,” after requesting a raise to fire and police from KFFPF & KLEPF funds.

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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