Rand Paul: Matt Bevin victory the beginning of GOP "growing to ascendency in Kentucky"

11/05/2015 04:08 PM

The reasons for Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s victory in Kentucky are plenty: his outsider persona, a deeply red state, the unpopularity of the national Democratic Party in Kentucky, but it’s just the start of things to come, says U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.

Paul, who found support for his 2010 Senate campaign using a similar message, said Bevin ran a “great campaign to the fact that he’s not a career politician and he’s a businessman, and people want an outsider.”

“I think it also had something to do with the fact that I think President Obama is virtually destroyed the Democrat Party in Kentucky,” Paul said. “It’s very hard to have the leader of your party be so anti-Kentucky, anti-jobs to Kentucky.”

With the Democrat-led state House, Congressional districts and Paul’s own U.S. Senate seat up for election in 2016, he is predicting the unpopular president will again play a factor as Republicans look to assume control of the statehouse for the first time since 1921.

“I think it’s very hard to be a Democrat in Kentucky,” Paul said, pointing to the “war on coal.”

On Tuesday, Bevin ran the map on Conway with big wins coming in coal country — areas of the state that favor Democrats in registration.

Take, for instance, Pike County. Democrats outpace the GOP by 22,000 voters in registration. However, of the nearly 11,000 residents that voted in the gubernatorial election on Tuesday, 6,146 of them voted for Bevin.

Tuesday’s victory for Bevin is also a victory for the tea party in Kentucky as well as a victory for the “outsider message,” according to Paul.

He said his presidential candidacy brings that same outsider message, and “people are still hungry for that.”

“People are very, very unhappy that Republicans are in charge of Congress now, but really are not exercising the power of the purse,” Paul said. “I stood up and filibustered until three in the morning last weekend trying to stop the raising of the debt ceiling.”

In Kentucky, Bevin has indicated he will be fiscally conservative when it comes to the state budget, vowing to change the delivery system for health care in the state.

Paul spoke with Bevin by phone after Tuesday’s victory and told him, “I won’t get in his way.”

“I told him anytime he wants my help I’m happy to help. There is overlap between state and federal issues,” Paul said. “I’m very interested in what we can do for areas of poverty in our state — eastern Kentucky and western Louisville — and I’ve talked with him about my program, which is called Economic Freedom Zones … and I think he’s interested in them.”

Listen to the rest of the interview with Paul including his thoughts on healthcare in Kentucky, and Auditor Adam Edelen’s defeat in Tuesday’s election.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, 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 the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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