Republicans are reaching out to African-American community in west Louisville

06/26/2014 09:37 AM

Republicans in Louisville are focusing on re-growing their party among the African American community in the city, especially on the west end, which has drifted away from the GOP over the last 50 years.

Nathan Haney, the chair of the Jefferson County Republican Party, said Republicans have seen the trends over the past several decades and they want to get back into the communities in Louisville which haven’t heard from their party in some time.

“Our goal here was to plant the party in areas that maybe haven’t heard from us,” Haney said. “They’ve had only one side of the issue for almost 50 years.”

Haney said the party has looked at the trends and realized once upon a time they had the outreach in place through Republican clubs, but said those have drifted away with technology.

“We noticed that in the past, 15-20 years ago, there were little Republican clubs dispersed throughout the city, and we felt that it really helped us to network in those areas to find candidates for county recruitment to raise money,” Haney said.

To once again become active in areas where Republican voter turn out has been dismal in recent elections, they’re setting up an office in west Louisville in part to reach African-Americans who have been voting for Democrats.

Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, have made trips to the area to talk about issues plaguing their community which include high felony incarceration rates for drug offenses — something Paul is working on in Congress.

Haney said to overcome the voting patterns of the past it will take time and listening to the issues.

The GOP chair added the party also needs to make up for the civil rights era when Republicans in the largely stayed on the sidelines or directly opposed the efforts.

“We’ve had some hiccups in our history especially in the 1950’s and 1960’s, since that period of time I do agree that minorities…have gone predominantly with Democrats…part of that is that we have not been there,” Haney said (2:30).

But Haney said the Jefferson County executive committee includes members from the west side of Louisville who feel like they have every right to be there now.

“That’s our community too,” Haney said.

Hear what else Haney had to say about the start of a different Republican party; Plus the issues and discussions going on in the community including felon voting rights, Affordable Care Act, and social welfare programs.


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