Loose Ends: Williams says new Frankfort house not a signal about 2011

06/23/2010 08:51 AM

Senate President David Williams

In December, Robyn E. Williams — the district judge for Clinton, Wayne and Russell counties and wife of Senate President David Williams — bought a $178,000 house in Frankfort just a two-block walk up the hill to the Capitol.

But David Williams, who has served in the legislature since 1985 and lived out of apartments and hotel rooms, said finally putting roots in Frankfort was more his wife’s decision and has nothing to do with his contemplation of running for governor in 2011.

“It’s a signal that she wants to visit me more,” said Williams, who has a home in Burkesville. Robyn Williams judicial district doesn’t include Cumberland County, so she also maintains a home in Russell Springs with her two children and three dogs. “The house in Frankfort is a matter of convenience. It’s hard to fit three dogs and two kids in a hotel room,” David Williams said.

His name isn’t on the deed, according the records filed with the Franklin County PVA’s office.

“Quite frankly, she could afford to buy a house,” he said. “I would have continued kind of toughing it out. But it’s something she’s been talking about for some time.”

Williams, meanwhile, hasn’t confirmed or denied interest in seeking the Republican nomination for governor. But he has ramped up his criticism in recent weeks of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who is running for a second term.

The purchase of the house in Frankfort on Dec. 22, 2009, is one of a series of changes in the Williams’ lives that are seemingly clearing up even more time for politicking.

Robyn Williams isn’t seeking re-election to the judgeship she’s held since then-Gov. Ernie Fletcher first appointed her in October 2004. She won re-election in 2006. Now she will return to practicing law part time as counsel for her family’s business, David Williams said.

And Williams said he will continue pulling back from his private law practice in Burkesville now that his only associate at the firm, Kristi Renee Castillo, is now the district judge for Cumberland and Monroe counties.

“I’ve already been scaling back my law practice, especially over the last two or three years,” Williams said. “I’m involved in so many political races. And I spent a lot of time raising money.”

Last year, for instance, Williams campaigned hard in two special elections for state Senate seats vacated by Republicans. (The Democrats and Republicans split on the outcome of the two). This year, while Williams is running unopposed in November, 14 of the other 18 Senate seats up for election around the state are contested and as many as 10 could prove to be competitive.

And Williams, in January, said he plans to be re-elected as Senate president, a post he has held since 2000, despite fellow Republican Sen. Julie Denton’s announcement that she would challenge him.

U.S. Senate fund-raisers

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul is ending June — and the 2nd quarter of the year — with a flurry of fund-raising events from Washington to Lexington to Louisville.

In addition to Thursday’s event that Republican senators are throwing for Paul at the National Republican Senatorial Committee headquarters, a fund-raiser featuring U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning is planned for Wednesday evening at the Dubliner restaurant just off of Capitol Hill. according to an announcement Paul’s campaign sent out over Facebook. The event notice says a $25 donation is required to get in and $50 donations are preferred.

And, as first reported by pageoneKentucky, a June 29 fund-raiser in Lexington hosted by Terry and Marion Forcht — of Forcht bank — will include a who’s who list of co-sponsors, including Bunning, David Williams, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Kentucky’s four Republican congressmen.

Paul also is planning an online money blast next week.

Democratic candidate Jack Conway, meanwhile, has kept a lower profile on the money-raising front even in the final days of this fund-raising quarter. Conway’s wife, Elizabeth, did send out an e-mail blast to supporters Monday asking them to donate at least $5 before the June 30 campaign finance reporting deadline to the Federal Election Commission.

But Gov. Steve Beshear, who is Kentucky Democrats’ top-ranking official, ¬†told cn|2 Politics on Saturday he still hadn’t been made aware of any fund-raisers he would be headlining for Conway yet.

But Beshear said he’s not concerned about Conway’s level of activity so far in this month-old general election campaign.

“As this campaign develops this fall, I think Jack’s going to be very aggressive, he’s going to run a positive campaign, he’s going to tell people what he thinks and where he wants this country to go and where he wants this state to go,” Beshear said. “We’re just now getting the fall campaign organized and started, and there’s plenty of time to make sure that happens.”

- Ryan Alessi


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