Paul declares victory in Republican primary

05/18/2010 10:46 PM

Rand Paul accepting the GOP nomination

Updated 5:16 a.m.:

Rand Paul has a full morning of national television appearances:

6:10 a.m. EST — Fox News

6:30-6:35 a.m. — ABC’s Good Morning America

6:40-6:47 a.m. — CNN’s American Morning

7:35 a.m. — MSNBC

Updated 10:46 p.m.:

Republican rivals Rand Paul and Trey Grayson didn’t get to speak to one another before their respective speeches Tuesday night, and Paul also missed a congratulatory call from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Grayson called Paul’s campaign manager David Adams around 8 p.m., but Adams was on the patio of the Bowling Green Country Club and couldn’t get to Paul, who was with his family at another part of the club.

“Trey asked me to pass on to Paul his congratulations. I’m hopeful we can still work that out,” Adams said about getting the two candidates together before Saturday’s unity rally at the Republican state headquarters in Frankfort.

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell also tried to call Paul’s cell phone and Adams but missed both of them.

But Adams confirmed to cn|2 Politics that a key aide to McConnell, Larry Cox, reached out to him before Tuesday. He was “supportive,” Adams said.

- Ryan Alessi

Updated 10:23 p.m.:

During his 11 minute and 30 second victory speech, Rand Paul talked about the power of the grassroots movement and voters’ deep frustration with Washington and people telling them what to do.

It apparently was deep enough for Paul to win some of the places Trey Grayson worked hardest to hold onto and to win big in some of the strongest Republican counties. Some examples:

  • Laurel County (where Grayson was endorsed by most elected officials) — Paul 52% to Grayson 41%
  • Pulaski County (home of U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, who backed Grayson) — Paul 55% to Grayson 40%
  • Jefferson County — Paul 61% (more than 29,000 votes) to Grayson 36% (less than 18,000 votes)
  • Boone County (Grayson’s home county) — Paul 67% to Grayson 31%
  • Kenton County — Paul 61% to Grayson 37%
  • Campbell County — Paul 66% to Grayson 32%

Updated 10:02 p.m.:

Rand Paul hasn’t talked much with reporters Tuesday night but did say that bringing the Republican Party back together again “will work out fine.”

Rand Paul’s father and former Republican presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said he expects GOP leaders who endorsed Trey Grayson to get behind his son.

“I would think that they would,” Ron Paul said.

He said he believes he’ll be working with his son on Capitol Hill next year and added that his son’s primary victory symbolizes “the growth of the freedom movement.”

The elder Paul told a gaggle of reporters after his son’s victory speech that the younger Paul doesn’t need to change his message for the general election.

“Do you think only Republicans are disgruntled? I mean everybody’s disgruntled, especially the independents,” he said. “This is the magnificent thing: The Republican Party has shifted over to an independent attitude and (one of) limited government.”

- Ryan Alessi

Updated at 9:22 p.m.: Retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning was in Washington Tuesday night but issued the following statement which was distributed by Bunning spokesman Mike Reynard, who spent the weekend campaigning for Paul.

“I want to congratulate Dr. Paul on a hard-fought victory in the Republican primary for the United States Senate. Dr. Paul is the right man to win in November and his victory today is a clear signal to the Washington establishment that it’s time to shake things up. Dr. Paul is a strong conservative who will be his own man in Washington and work to end the bailouts, stop wasteful spending, and defend our Kentucky values. He will fight to take our government back.”

- Ryan Alessi

Updated at 9:15 p.m.: Senator Mitch McConnell has released the following statement: “Dr. Paul ran an outstanding campaign which clearly struck a chord with Kentucky voters and I congratulate him on his impressive victory. Now Kentucky Republicans will unite in standing against the overreaching policies of the Obama Administration. We are spiraling further into unsustainable debt and Kentucky needs Rand Paul in the U.S. Senate because he will work every day to stop this crippling agenda.”

- Ryan Alessi

Updated at 8:58 p.m.: Rand Paul: “I am humbled…lets have a party.”

- Ryan Alessi

Updated at 8:52 p.m.: Rand Paul: “We’ve come to take the government back.”

- Ryan Alessi

Updated at 8:47 p.m.: Rand Paul has arrived at the Bowling Green Country Club and tells supporters “this has been a tremendous mandate for the people.”

- Ryan Alessi

Updated at 8:32 p.m.: Rand Paul is expected to arrive at the Bowling Green Country Club shortly, about a half-hour earlier than expected because of the quick end to the race.

- Ryan Alessi

Updated at 8:09 p.m.: Rand Paul’s supporters declared their man’s victory a big win for “true conservatives” — and a bigger loss for Kentucky’s Republican establishment.

“I think you’re seeing something really big here, tonight,” said Jack Richardson IV, a Louisville attorney and Republican state executive committee member. “This is a wake-up call.”

Richardson said U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and others tried to push Trey Grayson on Republicans even though “he was not a conservative.”

“They were trying to force something down our throats,” he said on the porch of the Bowling Green Country Club, shortly after Paul was declared the winner.

State Rep. Jamie Comer, R-Tompkinsville, was one of the few state lawmakers backing Paul over Grayson. So far, he is the only one at Paul’s victory party.

“Trey Grayson had 90 percent of the white collar Republicans for him,” Comer said. “But there was just a movement out there for Paul.”

- Ryan Alessi

Updated at 7:49 p.m.:

The Associated Press called the race for Rand Paul with 32 percent of the vote reporting, prompting loud and long cheers from the Paul supporters who have streamed into the Bowling Green Country Club over the last half hour.

- Ryan Alessi

Updated at 7:37 p.m.: The first full county has reported. All five of Nicholas County’s precincts are in. Rand Paul won with 69 percent of the vote, 116 votes to Trey Grayson’s 40.

In the Democratic primary, Daniel Mongiardo received 987 votes to Conway’s 977, according to the unofficial results.

Could Nicholas County be a bellwether?

- Ryan Alessi

Updated 7:08 p.m.: Reporters still outnumber supporters at Rand Paul election night headquarters with polls just now closing in the central time zone.

But the buzz and energy is increasing among the few Paul backers.

Marcus Carey, a lawyer and conservative radio host, approached Paul’s campaign manager David Adams to tell him that results out of the Boone County clerk’s office showed Paul won in Trey Grayson’s home precinct of Richwood, 252 to 115.

Adams said it’s “a signal” of what’s to come.

“No different than what I’ve been saying all day: We expect to win and win big,” Adams said.

- Ryan Alessi

Updated 5:09 p.m.: Rand Paul isn’t expected back to the Bowling Green Country Club until an hour after polls close in the central time zone, sometime around 8 p.m., his campaign manager David Adams said.

While Paul will have a busy evening, win or lose, his dance card is particularly full for Wednesday morning as national media outlets who are expecting Paul to win have booked him on a slew of morning shows.

Paul is scheduled to appear on Good Morning America and the Today Show, for instance, Adams said.

“If this election doesn’t turn out the way it’s supposed to, we’re going to have some unhappy producers,” he added.

Updated at 4:55 p.m.: National and state media outlets have descended en masse on the Bowling Green Country Club, turning the grass near the 18th green into a satellite truck parking lot in preparation for covering Rand Paul’s election night event.

“I’ve never done anything quite like this,” said Dave Fenwick, the club’s general manager, who said he was bracing for 400 to 500 Paul supporters and reporters. Paul, a Bowling Green eye surgeon, is a member of the country club.

Hours before the events were scheduled to begin, national cable news networks periodically went live from the club’s patio.

CNN’s Rick Sanchez checked in live with Jessica Yellin, who is at the country club, shortly after 3:30 p.m., EST.

“After today, he may be the face of the anger among voters,“  Sanchez said before kicking it over to Yellin.

A half-hour later, Paul went live from the Country Club on Fox News from the patio on Neil Cavuto’s show, where he said he never purposely tried to position himself against U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell or others “in the establishment.”

“We didn’t turn down anybody’s endorsement. No concerted efforts not to get endorsements,” Paul said.

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