McDaniel stands behind Comer, criticizes K.C. Crosbie for not acknowledging alleged connection to blogger

05/06/2015 12:09 PM

COVINGTON – The message was GOP party unity, but the subject of many of the conversations before the Kenton County Republicans Spring Fling on Tuesday night was the Courier-Journal article which raised allegations that GOP gubernatorial candidate James Comer mentally and physically abused an ex-girlfriend, Marilyn Thomas, while he was a student at Western Kentucky University. Allegations that Comer firmly denies.

Comer was not at the northern Kentucky event, but was represented by his running mate for lieutenant governor, Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill.

McDaniel said that he fully believes that Comer had committed no abuse of Thomas and was critical of the newspaper for printing the story.

“I thought it was irresponsible of the Courier-Journal to run it, without so much as an accurate check of the background on that,” McDaniel said. “I think the Commissioner did a great job when he came out [Tuesday] and flatly denied it as he has to so many of us through the last several months as this became more and more of a story.”

Heiner told Pure Politics before the event that as far as he was concerned, it was an issue between Comer and Thomas and he will spend the last two weeks focusing on the issues.

“Certainly domestic abuse is a serious issue, but quite frankly, this is an issue between Jamie Comer and the young lady and, to protect the people involved, I’d urge all campaigns to get focused back on to the challenges that Kentucky faces,” Heiner said.

The Lexington Herald-Leader’s Sam Youngman, published a story last Wednesday that alleged Scott Crosbie, the husband of Heiner’s running mate K.C. Crosbie, had exchanged emails with Lexington attorney Michael Adams, who operates a website devoted to discrediting Comer — where the abuse allegations first surfaced.

Heiner issued an apology to Comer after the report surfaced, but McDaniel expressed disappointment that K.C. Crosbie failed to engage him in conversation over the incident when he brought it up during the KET lieutenant governor debate on Monday night.

“K.C. Crosbie should have owned the fact that she and her husband have been directly coordinating with a blogger, a blogger who threatened my kids to the point it had to go to a grand jury,” McDaniel said. “She just doesn’t want to take any responsibility for that.”

Heiner said that he was unaware of Scott Crosbies’ involvement with Adams and addressed it with the apology that he issued last week.

“I was unaware that anyone associated with our campaign had any contact with this blogger,” Heiner said. “When I was made aware it, here just recently, I’ve addressed that issue.”

McDaniel says even though there is concern that a headline with accusations, even if not true, could hurt Comer in terms of votes, he believes that the incident is bringing Comer supporters together and filling them with determination.

“We’ve heard from supporters across the state today,” he said. “Supporters who know about the character about Commissioner Comer, they know about the record of Commissioner Comer, and they know about the kind of people that are trying to take Commissioner Comer down. The fact of the matter is people are more fired up for us now than they were before.”

The primary is Tuesday, May 19.


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