Leland Conway says David Williams must win over tea party in order to win

08/24/2011 07:13 AM

Conservative radio show host Leland Conway said Republican candidate for governor David Williams is still struggling to gain tea party support because of some of the positions he’s taken as the state Senate’s leader.

“There are some issues, because in the past the Senate has gone along with raising gas taxes, raising cigarette taxes,” said Conway. “There’s been a lot of Republican leadership talking about being on the side of a statewide smoking ban. Those kinds of things don’t rattle well with the grass roots.” (see the 2:30 mark of the clip)

And with Williams already trailing in the polls and registered Republicans outnumbered by Democrats, Williams needs the tea party.

“I don’t know where he makes up the votes. It’s a powerful force,” Conway said. “It’s clear he needs and wants the tea party vote.” (see the 7:45 mark of the clip)

Still, Conway argued that the Republican controlled Senate has done a good job in the recent past of blocking more liberal legislation that came from the Democratic controlled state House of Representatives.

Conway said Williams could have a path to victory if Beshear makes a major misstep. For instance, it remains to be seen whether there’s more to recent allegations that Beshear officials strong-armed workers to give money to his re-election campaign, Conway said.

At least one non-merit employee has confirmed he was asked for a donation, but it’s unclear whether that violated the law.

“Given what we’ve had happen in our gubernatorial situations in the past, we ought to really look into this,” Conway said. “This is a pretty serious allegation. It is something that a lot of people will say has been happening in Kentucky politics for a long time.” (see the :50 mark of the clip)

Gatewood Galbraith is an interesting candidate in Conway’s eyes, but he has some contradictory positions.

“I’m glad he’s in this race and I’m glad he’s on the ballot,” Conway said. “I think he’s a legitimate option for those who want something a little different. And he’s a little different.” (see the 6:20 mark of the clip)

About Pure Politics

Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.


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