GOP Leaders Split In Republican Primary

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The woman who helped revive the Kentucky Republican Party will co-host a Lexington fundraiser for Gov. Ernie Fletcher's re-election campaign next week.

"I'm supporting Gov. Fletcher," said Ellen Williams, the former Republican Party chairwoman who was in charge when the GOP took majority control of the state Senate and when Fletcher was elected as Kentucky's first Republican governor in more than 30 years year.

Meanwhile, former Republican Party chairman Darrell Brock, who left the job on March 1, is co-hosting a fundraiser in the same town next week for a Fletcher challenger, former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup of Louisville.

At least four other former heads of the GOP favor Northup, showing the divided loyalties in the Kentucky Republican Party with the May 22 primary approaching.

"I think Fletcher's poll numbers have deteriorated so far that I don't see any possible way for him to win in November against any of the Democrats," said Bob Gable, a Northup supporter who headed the Republican Party from 1986-1994. "I think it would be nice to have a Republican nominee who has a chance of winning."

Williams, who joined the Fletcher administration after resigning as head of the party, said she stands by the first-term governor. A former aide to President Reagan, Vice President George Bush and members of Congress over a 10-year period in Washington, Williams is listed as a co-host and $1,000 contributor on an invitation to the fundraiser scheduled for Tuesday by Lexington homebuilders Don and Mira Ball.

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