Lexington Mayor Jim Gray endorsed by DSCC in Democratic primary for U.S. Senate

03/19/2016 08:14 AM

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is throwing their support and likely their dollars behind businessman and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray in the May 17 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., the Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Gray’s experience in the private sector and as mayor led to the public backing on Friday.

“Jim has proven he knows how to work with Democrats and Republicans alike to find common sense solutions to problems facing middle class Kentuckians, and we know he will do exactly that once elected to the Senate,” Tester said in a statement. “Kentucky deserves better than a Senator who continues to treat his job as a consolation prize, and we are proud to support Jim’s campaign to be a Senator who finally puts Kentucky first.”

Gray’s campaign said they were “proud to have the support of the DSCC.”

“They recognize Kentucky deserves and needs someone who will put this job and Kentuckians first – a successful businessman who has created thousands of jobs and knows how to put that experience to work in government.

“Jim is the only candidate in this race with that experience,” the statement from Gray’s campaign continued. “He knows how to create results. His family business has produced more than 20,000 jobs. As mayor, Jim has brought 15,000 new jobs to Lexington; he turned a budget deficit into surplus and tackled the city’s pension crisis and health insurance reform, saving more than $112 million.”

There are seven Democratic candidates campaigning for the post in the May 17 primary including: Rory Houlihan, of Winchester; Jeff Kender, of Phelps; Ron Leach, of Brandenburg; Tom Recktenwald, of Louisville; Grant T. Short, of Owensboro; and Sellus Wilder, of Frankfort.

Pivoting to the general election, Gray’s campaign went on the offensive against U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., saying the DSCC “knows Sen. Paul has been absent from Kentucky pursuing his presidential ambition.”

“He’s all talk, no action. Kentuckians will get results with Jim Gray,” the campaign said.

Meanwhile, Paul has made several rounds of listening tours around the state in recent months, including 32 town halls across the commonwealth in the last month with another nine scheduled next week.

Paul’s campaign spokeswoman countered the remarks from Gray’s campaign by pointing to the Bowling Green senator’s voting record.

“In addition to having a nearly perfect voting attendance record in the Senate, Senator Paul has returned to the taxpayer over $2.4 Million from his office budget, stood strong against the Obama-Clinton War on Coal, and worked tirelessly to defend Kentuckians from outrageous government regulations and overreach,” Paul’s campaign spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper said. “Senator Paul has consistently and thoroughly done the job he was elected to do — representing Kentucky and fighting for our shared values.”

Paul faces two other GOP contenders in the primary contest — James Gould, of Lexington, and Stephen Slaughter, of Louisville.

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 nicholas.storm@charter.com.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.