RNC Committeewoman Gail Russell says she supports Williams in GOP primary

02/23/2011 06:18 PM

Gail Russell, who has served as Kentucky’s Republican National Committee woman since 2005, said she has contributed to the gubernatorial primary campaign fund of David Williams.

Williams, the Senate president from Burkesville, is running in a three-way primary for the GOP nomination for governor against Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw.

Russell said on Pure Politics Wednesday that as a Republican Party official, she doesn’t publicly back candidates in Republican primaries but acknowledged that she has recently gave money to Williams. Writing a campaign check is part of her individual right to free speech, she said.

“I don’t consider that a public endorsement … I typically do not raise money or give public speeches for particular candidates,” she said.

Russell also gave $1,000 in December to Republican state Rep. Jamie Comer of Tompkinsville, who is running against Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger for the nomination for agriculture commissioner.

On the presidential race, Russell said former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann could be fighting over the same voters. She said she doesn’t have a pick yet but said former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney still appears to be the frontrunner with his organization.

“What used to be in politics was bragging about bringing earmarks home,” she said. “I remember (former GOP Congresswoman) Anne Northup campaigns over many years talking about all the benefits she brought back to Jefferson County — the last McConnell campaign talking about all he had done in the Paducah area … Now the voters say they want something totally different from that.”

But she said she hopes Congress makes “wise cuts and does not cut off some of those who are truly the neediest Americans.”

- Ryan Alessi


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