Some Things To Watch On Political Scene....
Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry's first fundraiser is a "Who's Who" list of guests.
Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry's first fundraiser is a "Who's Who" list of guests. Hosts are expecting a good turnout and a strong final figure from the event at Alan Bloomfield's home. A big haul for Newberry could certainly be somewhat deflating for potential opponents.
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Right now, Newberry faces former Mayor Teresa Isaac whom he defeated in 2006. She is reconnecting with old supporters and raising some money. Isaac has never been a big fundraiser and will rely on name identification and her own tireless campaigning to get her effort noticed. Money raised by the incumbent will not run off Isaac and Newberry knows that.
The big question in the Newberry camp is whether Vice Mayor Jim Gray will enter the race. Gray has apparently done some issue identification surveys and found his stands in step with public sentiment on some key items. He was high profile in trying to stop or slow the Centerpointe project and was loud when spending questions were raised at Blue Grass Airport and the public library.
In the 6th District Congressional Race....
Republicans have been scrambling to find a nominee to take on Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler. Lexington lawyer Andy Barr is stepping forward. Funeral supply salesman Matt Lockett has already entered the race and launched a website. The GOP nominee could be running in a favorable issue environment next year... but name identification alone takes money, time and effort to build. It's going to be interesting to see it develop and to see if any higher profile candidates enter the scene.
And in the US Senate race....
Could it be a showdown for both party nominations? It's obvious the Democratic battle will be a dogfight with polls showing a single digit margin and two aggressive candidates who've run statewide campaigns before. They're also already scrapping and their strategists seem to either enjoy knuckle ball politics or find it essential to show early toughness. Newsrooms are already being flooded with "tit for tat" news releases from both sides.
It also now looks like the Republican race could get interesting and national media outlets are giving it some attention. Secretary of State Trey Grayson enjoys the implicit backing of the Republican establishment and a good head start with cash and in the polls. But Rand Paul's insurgent effort is clearly going to be serious. With national connections (his father is former presidential candidate Ron Paul), an ideological tilt and an ability to run as a "government outsider", Paul's candidacy is at least getting many Republicans to take a good look at what he offers.
It used to be that Republicans liked to leave the primaries to Democrats while the GOP annointed an obvious nominee. They may not have that luxury this time around and the Grayson and Paul camps may spend a lot of money and energy fighting each other before the May primary.