How the man behind a major PAC says GOP independent expenditure groups helped to take control of the House

11/11/2016 01:49 PM

Two-years ago coming off his re-election to the Senate, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell gathered his troops in a mission to take the reins of power in Frankfort.

McConnell, and his allies, knew they needed to have quality GOP candidates running for House seats in 2016, something they lacked in some cases in 2014, as McConnell swept the state, but did not lead to majority control in Frankfort. The group also needed money — a lot of it.

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, the group that was formed to buoy McConnell’s 2014 re-election, changed their mission after the Senate race to direct their efforts at taking the state House. Scott Jennings, senior advisor for Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, started at that time collecting cash, and developing a plan to target specific districts to gain the majority.

On Tuesday, the Republicans gained that spot for the first time in 95 years with an onslaught of spending from three outside GOP groups including Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, GOPAC and the Republican State Leadership Committee combining to drop what will likely be $3 million in the commonwealth.

Jennings sat down with Pure Politics on Thursday to talk about the effort to take the House and how his group plotted their attacks.

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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