Republican Party of Kentucky hires communications director, political director ahead of fall elections

04/19/2016 11:29 AM

With control of the state House of Representatives up for grabs the Republican Party of Kentucky has added a political and communications director.

Tres Watson, who last ran Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles campaign, has been named as the Republican Party’s communications director. The RPK has also named Josh Thomas as political director.

“Republicans stand to make historic gains in Kentucky this November and I am committed to assembling the type of team we need to get us there,” said RPK Chairman Mac Brown in a statement. “Tres and Josh bring a tremendous amount experience to the party and will play integral roles in helping to re-elect Senator Rand Paul, elect a new majority to the Kentucky State House, retain our majority in the Kentucky State Senate and deliver Kentucky’s electoral votes to the Republican nominee for President.”

Democrats have been able to maintain a slim majority in recent election for the lower chamber, which has been under Democratic control since 1921. Control rests with Democrats holding a 53-47 majority in the lower chamber.

Brown said Watson’s public relations and campaign experience make him “uniquely suited to guide our communications operations.”

“His experience and contacts with both the Kentucky press corps and Republican activists across the state will allow him to hit the ground running,” Brown said. “He will help make sure our message is carried to all 120 counties so the voters of Kentucky know that if they want open, honest and responsible government, they should vote Republican this fall.”

Meanwhile, the party has tapped Thomas to guide the political operations of the RPK>

Thomas is a Tennessee native with experience in guiding Republican State House campaigns, according to a press release. Thomas served as the campaign director for the Tennessee House Republican Caucus, where he helped flip the State House to Republican control in 2010 and expand it to a supermajority in 2012.

In 2014, Thomas worked as the political director for the North Carolina House Republican Caucus, where he coordinated the effort to protect a Republican supermajority in the state House.

“I’m excited about the winning experience Josh brings to Kentucky to help guide us to the first Republican majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives in nearly a century,” Brown said. “Mark my words, 2016 will be the year Kentuckians demote ‘Speaker’ Stumbo to ‘Minority Leader’ Stumbo and I’m thrilled to have Josh on board to help lead that effort.”

Republicans have 91 candidates lined up to contest 100 state House seats.

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@twcnews.com.

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