Friday, January 12, 2001

Inez banker may become RNC treasurer

The Associated Press

        LEXINGTON — Republican leaders think Inez banker Robert M. “Mike” Duncan is a shoo-in to become the next treasurer of the powerful Republican National Committee.

        Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, President-elect Bush's choice for RNC chairman, asked Mr. Duncan this week to run for treasurer and endorsed Mr. Duncan during a conference call with RNC members.

        Mr. Duncan would help oversee the GOP's main fund-raising arm, an organization that raises hundreds of millions of dollars to elect Republicans.

        The election will be held next week in Washington.

        “It's a great honor to be part of Gov. Gilmore's team and President-elect Bush's team,” Mr. Duncan said. If elected, he'll be “seeing that the money is spent wisely and accounted for properly,” the banker said.

        The organization's 2000 budg et was about $250 million.

        But Mr. Duncan is used to handling large sums — he and his wife are the principal owners of two eastern Kentucky community banks. He is a past president of the Kentucky Bankers Association, too.

        Mr. Duncan also has deep political roots: He has campaigned for every Republican president since Richard Nixon. He chaired Jim Bunning's successful U.S. Senate campaign in 1998 and served as a regional chairman of the 2000 Bush campaign.

        “There is no one more deserving or more qualified for this position than Mike, and I am confident he will do a terrific job,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

        Kentucky Republican Party Chairwoman Ellen Williams predicted a Duncan win would be good news for Kentucky Republicans. “The person controlling the purse strings (will be) a Kentuckian, and that's pretty ... good for Kentucky and our candidates,” she said.


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