Sunday, July 09, 2000

State senator donates to GOP

Roeding shares campaign funds

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LAKESIDE PARK — It was political benevolence and not campaign overconfidence that led Republican state Sen. Dick Roeding to donate $40,000 of his re-election funds to other GOP senators, his campaign says.

        Mr. Roeding of Lakeside Park, the president pro tem of the Republican-controlled Kentucky Senate, took in the $40,000 last week during his annual golf-outing fund-raiser at Perry Park outside Carrollton in Carroll County.

        But with $93,000 already raised for his campaign against Fort Mitchell Democrat John Stephenson — who has raised virtually no money — Mr. Roeding has followed his tradition of contributing the golf-outing proceeds to the Republican Party Legislative Trust.

        The money will be used to help elect Republicans to the Kentucky General Assembly and in particular the Senate, where the GOP is trying to hold on to its slight 20 to 18 majority.

        “We're not overconfident,” said Hayes Robertson of Covington, Mr. Roeding's campaign manager. “Dick has done this for several years ... and he has done very well raising money so far in this race.

        “Sen. Roeding is extremely pleased with the turnout and with the support he has received,” Mr. Robertson said. “This clearly proves that Sen. Roeding has been doing a good job for his constituents and that the majority of people in Northern Kentucky want to see the Senate stay in Republican hands.”

        Mr. Stephenson acknowledges he has not raised much money but said he has campaigned hard for the 11th Senate District seat Mr. Roeding has held for a decade.

        “Don't take me for granted,” Mr. Stephenson said. “I'm a voice that is going to be heard.”

        Mr. Stephenson, a former school teacher and real estate broker, is the last Northern Kentuckian elected to statewide office. He held the title of state Superintendent of Public Instruction, but was elected in the early 1990s after the legislature stripped the office of most of

        its power.

        He claims to be undaunted by the money Mr. Roeding is raising.

        “This is a battle I've faced in every campaign I've ever had,” Mr. Stephenson said. “I run a different style campaign. I don't need a lot of money.”

        Mr. Stephenson distributed handmade campaign materials during the 4th of July parades he appeared in last week. To meet people he volunteers to play coun try, Bluegrass and gospel music at community events, hospitals and nursing homes.

        And on Oct. 7 he will attend a breakfast at Florence's Stringtown Restaurant whose hosts will be the Boone County Democratic Women's Club and then lead a caravan to Walton and a daylong political picnic on Stephenson Mill Road.

        “That road is named for my relatives, you know,” Mr. Stephenson claimed.


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- State senator donates to GOP