Paul and Gray answer questions at Kentucky Farm Bureau forum separately

08/25/2016 11:04 PM

LOUISVILLE – U.S Senator Rand Paul and Democratic challenger Jim Gray attended and answered questions from members of the Kentucky Farm Bureau on Thursday, but did not appear together for the candidate forum.

It marked only the third time in memory that candidates appeared separately at the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s “Measure the Candidates” forum.

The last time prior to Thursday was in 2002 when Sen. Mitch McConnell opposed Lois Combs Weinberg.

At the beginning of the press conference after he concluded his part of the forum, Paul jokingly said, “where is he?,” when asked why he and Gray did not appear together.

He then went on to say that he did not take part in the scheduling.

“I don’t know who was involved with the setting up on arrangements, I just sort of came,” Paul said. “I showed up and answered my questions.”

Gray said that it was Paul who decided that he would not appear with Gray.

“My understanding is that Senator Paul was unwilling to appear at the same time,” Gray said.

Kentucky Farm Bureau president Mark Haney admitted that he was not part of the conversations about each candidate’s appearance but reiterated that the bureau wants to work with both campaigns.

“We want to accommodate both campaigns as much as we possibly can, and most important, we want to get the information, and get it dispensed to our members,” Haney said.

In the area of regulatory reform, Paul said that the government has too much power and said he will sponsor a bill to abolish the waterways of the U.S., which defines which rivers, streams, lakes and marshes fall under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.

“We need to take power away from the executive branch and all of these regulatory agencies because they’re doing most of these on their own,” Paul said. “We need to make it so Congress votes for these things.”

Gray admitted that he’s had to deal with a variety of governmental regulations with his construction business, but said that everything needs to be examined individually.

“There’s no one size fits all on these kind of questions,” Gray said. “I’ve been in business long enough to know it doesn’t work that way.”

As for the reducing the national deficit, Gray says he wants the country to do the same thing that he did in Lexington.

“To get through the deficit, you do just what we did in Lexington,” gray said. “I inherited a $30 million deficit which was 10 percent of my general fund. We developed in 5 years a surplus where we’ve made investments.”

Paul wants to a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“I’ve made a pledge that I won’t vote for a budget that doesn’t balance in a reasonable amount of time,” Paul said.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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