Republican Cathy Bailey still considering run in 2015, but focused on 2014 elections for now

07/23/2014 12:36 PM

Cathy Bailey, the Louisville philanthropist and former U.S. Ambassador to Latvia, is working hard to bring in money to help Republican state House candidates as well as some at the federal level, but she said she is still looking at her own political future as she “closely considers” a run for governor.

Bailey formed her federal PAC Kentucky Rise in February with the intention to focus on the 2014 House races. Other names in the 2015 GOP PAC pool include Louisville businessman Hal Heiner—the only Republican to announce his intentions for a gubernatorial run so far—and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is also involved in similar efforts with super PACs.

Bailey said that she does not believe the multiple PACs will have conflicting messages and that is it good people are doing their part to get Republicans elected to the seats they need to take over the lower chamber.

As for how much her group is spending so far, Bailey told Pure Politics that they gave $40,000 in contributions in the most recent quarter to the top tier candidates facing the toughest races—though she would not say which candidates were in the tightest elections.

Because Bailey’s group is a federal PAC, Kentucky Rise is required by law to give to at least one federal candidate. And she said that they had given to Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell as well as some Congressional candidates like U.S. Rep. Andy Barr and others.

But Bailey also added that the group has given to RANDPAC, the group behind Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul. When asked whether or not she would be using her PAC to support any higher ambitions that Paul may have come 2016, including a potential run for the White House, Bailey said it is possible.

“I have the good fortune of serving on [Paul’s] national finance committee for his RANDPAC and that has been really really very aggressive, we’ve done a great job in Kentucky,” Bailey said. “I’ve been helping Rand on a national level so we’ll just see how it evolves as things go along.”

While she is getting involved in many elections important to Republicans over the coming years, there has also been speculation that Bailey may enter the 2015 governors race.

Bailey, who also considered a run for governor in 2011, told the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Sam Youngman back in December that she was “95 percent” in the race.

On Tuesday, Bailey told Pure Politics that she is still “closely considering” a run for the office but would not say whether or not she has an updated timeline on when she could make a decision because she believes all Republicans should be concentrating on the 2014 elections.

“I think it is extremely important we stay focused on these 2014 races, biggest election we’ve had since 2012 and so much at stake,” Bailey said. “Republicans have to come together this year.”


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