GOP Sen. Damon Thayer draws primary challenge from tea party member

12/01/2011 09:01 AM

Republican state Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown might have raised the most money so far of any senator up for re-election in 2012, but that hasn’t scared off challengers.

Ricky Hostetler, a member of the Scott and Grant counties tea party groups, announced he plans to challenge Thayer in a Republican primary for the 17th District. That covers Scott, Grant, Owen and parts of Kenton counties.

Hostetler has filed papers with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance to raise money for the race and already has a campaign website. .

In 2010, Hostetler ran against state Rep. Ryan Quarles in a primary for the the state House District 62 seat. Thayer, however, backed Quarles, who defeated Hostetler by almost 20 points in the primary and went on to unseat former state Rep. Charlie Hoffman.

This spring, Thayer, who represents as the 17th District senator, had a back-and-forth with GOP candidate for governor Phil Moffett, a tea party favorite, during the Scott County Lincoln Day Dinner on May 14. Thayer took issue with what he considered to be Moffett’s slight to politicians.

Thayer is one of the most well-funded Senate candidates up for re-election in 2012. He raised $61,000 in the last year and has more than $100,000 on hand.

Thayer also is chairman of the Senate state government committee, which gives him a key role in redrawing legislative districts during the redistricting process this winter.

- Video by Don Weber

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