U.S. Sen. Rand Paul stumps for state House candidates in West Ky.; Says he still hasn't talked with Bevin

05/29/2014 12:55 AM

With U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell otherwise occupied with his re-election campaign, Republican candidates are turning to U.S. Sen. Rand Paul to help them in state House districts this fall.

House Democrats have their slimmest majority in the chamber in decades — 54 to 46 seats. And it’s the only legislative chamber controlled by Democrats in the south.

Western Kentucky, with its recent swing in voting habits, will feature a slew of competitive House races, and Paul made his first stop promoting GOP candidates in Owensboro on Wednesday.

“Things have changed the national parties have left some of the conservative values of western Kentucky folks. I think there really is a chance that people are ready to start thinking ‘you know what it’s been since 1920 since Republicans were in charge maybe Kentucky could thrive if we could accept some new people and some new policies,” Paul said.

Republicans are still trying to recover from this spring’s primary between McConnell and challenger Matt Bevin, who drew 36 percent of the vote. The GOP reunited in fairly short order following the 2010 U.S. Senate primary with Trey Grayson joining Paul and McConnell on stage. But patching things up has not been as smooth or scripted this time as Bevin still has not officially endorsed McConnell.

Paul, whom Bevin spoke fondly of during the campaign, has not spoken to Bevin since the election.

Health care will be key issue in both the U.S. Senate race and state House races, especially with Kentucky being a poster-state for implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Two-thirds of uninsured Kentuckians have found coverage through the exchange and Medicaid expansion made possible under the controversial law.

Paul was asked about the law and how it would play into the elections, and he said he was concerned about the unintended consequences — especially how the increasing reliance on Medicaid could alter the delicate balance between healthcare and economics.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.