Running in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary, Ron Leach sees lines of attack against Rand Paul focused on foreign policy

04/14/2016 10:28 PM

Former Green Beret medic Ron Leach is one of seven men vying for the Democratic nomination for Kentucky’s U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Sen. Rand Paul.

Leach said he was shaped politically by actions in Washington D.C. while he was fighting in Afghanistan during 2011 when the government shutdown, and he believes the “ideological tantrums” from elected leaders led to the closure of the government.

Seeing a political system gone awry, Leach said it’s time to get back to work in the nation’s capital and put partisan politics aside.

While he wants to make a difference, he’ll have to overcome the checkbook of Lexington Mayor Jim Gray who is being backed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the primary. Gray has already posted a $1.75 million campaign haul, including $1 million of his own money.

“Yes, the DSCC did back Mayor Gray, I don’t think he that’s any surprise there. He has the one and only asset that seems to matter to either party right now, he has millions of dollars,” Leach said.

In 2005, Leach was deployed north of Baghdad, Iraq where he said he took a call from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He said the campaign group only wanted to talk about cash.

“In the middle of a combat zone, latter part of a deployment, not once did they ask ‘How’s it going over there? Hope you get back safe.’ Not once did they ask, what is your background, what is your experience, what do you think are the key issues you think we can build a race around in your district,” he said (7:19 in the interview). “They asked two questions. … How much money do you bring to the table? How much money do you think you can raise?”

Leach says he does see fault in both parties for creating a system that spends more time bickering and wielding influence to win elections than governing.

“It has become brand and loyalty, and go my team, with no consideration towards long term governing,” the Brandenburg Democrat said. “It’s more, how can we make the other side look bad in the next 24 hour news cycle. Not, how can we build up our country and make sure the next generation has a better future.”

For Kentuckians heading to the ballot box on May 17 to vote in the Democratic primary Leach believes he has the qualifications to beat Paul in November.

“More experience, more background, more achievement than any candidate in this election,” he said of the reasons he should be the candidate to take on Paul.

If he can make it past a primary, Leach expects foreign policy would play a major role in a race against Paul.

Watch Leach’s take on Paul’s view of the world and military views and his own views on conflict and intervention beginning at the 13 minute mark in the video below.

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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