ELLINGER IS REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR SENATE
There could be an interesting race brewing in Fayette County for that open state senate seat where Ernesto Scorsone is leaving the legislature after 24 years. Scorsone has decided to make a career change and go for a circuit judgeship. (Word is Scorsone has already raised significant money and is promised more by supporters if he draws an opponent).
Republicans have nominated Lexington At-Large Councilman Chuck Ellinger to take on Democrat State Representative Kathy Stein for the seat. Republicans quickly painted Ellinger as “mainstream” and referred to “extreme representation” in obvious references to Scorsone and Stein. Ellinger is a moderate, as was his father, who served on city council for years and made unsuccessful bids for mayor and congress. Ellinger, who’s in his mid-40s, says he will make sure voters see a clear choice between himself and Stein. It’s obvious from his first statements about the race that Ellinger will push cooperation over confrontation as his major theme.
Stein’s nomination was swift after Scorsone stepped aside. She has the backing of Governor Steve Beshear and other top Democrats. Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than two to one in the district, which also has about 6,000 independents. Stein will no doubt bill herself as tough enough to stand up to Senate President David Williams and the Republicans who control the legislature’s upper chamber. She’s giving up the chairmanship of the house judiciary for a shot at the senate seat.
We’ll see how this one develops.
By the way… The parties haven’t proceeded on a nominee in Stein’s house seat because she hasn’t officially withdrawn. The GOP says its talking to some potential candidates and we’ve noted that attorney Foster Ockerman, Junior and Unitarian Minister Kelly Flood have both expressed interest in the Democratic nomination.
FANCY FARM PICNIC
The grounds of a Catholic church in Graves County are about to be the stage for the world’s largest one day picnic. Fancy Farm preps are well underway… It’s been a Kentucky tradition since the 1800s. Senator Mitch McConnell and his challenger Bruce Lunsford will be bringing some crowds to the Western Kentucky event. It will likely be a spirited event.
Senator Jim Bunning is making the trip to Fancy Farm, which should put to rest any talk that he might not go forward with his planned 2010 re-election bid. Some who are interested in possibly challenging Bunning will also be there, including Attorney General Jack Conway, Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo and State Auditor Crit Luallen. Secretary of State Trey Grayson has also made it clear that IF Bunning were to opt out… he’d be interested in the senate race. Otherwise, expect Grayson to be there, keeping himself visible for a possible 2011 run for governor or other statewide office. Speaker Jody Richards usually makes the scene, which may be even more important for him with Greg Stumbo apparently considering challenging for his post. The Fancy Farm picnic is afterall a place to see and be seen!
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