Tuesday, March 06, 2001

Deters chooses finance chief

Builder joins Kenton campaign

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — Kenton County attorney candidate Eric Deters continues to fortify his campaign team, naming Bill Erpenbeck, a well-known builder and political fund-raiser, as his finance chairman.

        “We could not have on board a better finance chairman to aid us in our fund-raising efforts,” said Hayes Robertson, Mr. Deters' campaign manager.

        “Bill fits the criteria we wanted. He's a friend of Eric's. He knows everyone. Everyone in the business community knows him. And he's willing,” Mr. Robertson said.

        The Deters campaign hopes Mr. Erpenbeck, owner of a home-building firm based in Northern Kentucky, will use his business, community and personal contacts to attract contributions to the campaign.

        Mr. Erpenbeck's company builds a wide range of dwellings, from apartments and condos to upscale homes, throughout Northern Kentucky.

        Mr. Erpenbeck has hosted fund-raisers in his Crestview Hills home for candidates in past campaigns, including Republican Kenton County Commissioner Barb Black and U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas, a Boone County Democrat.

        Mr. Deters will hold a campaign fund-raiser March 22 featuring former GOP gubernatorial candidate Larry Forgy.

        Mr. Deters is challenging incumbent County Attorney Garry Edmondson in the May 2002 GOP primary. Twice elected as a Democrat, Mr. Edmondson switched parties in January.

        Mr. Deters has already hired Mr. Robertson as his full-time campaign manager and has hired a national polling firm based in the Washington area.

        Few local candidates have in the past hired full-time campaign managers, particularly for a primary election that is more than a year away.

        Republican political consultant Marc Wilson, operator of Wilson Media in Florence, announced Monday that he has been contacted by both campaigns but won't be involved in the race.

        Mr. Wilson has previously worked for some of the region's best-known and successful candidates, including state Sen. Jack Westwood, R-Erlanger, and state Sen. Dick Roeding, R-Lakeside Park. Mr. Wilson was also on the team that helped President Bush carry Kentucky by 16 points in November.

        “I did submit a proposal to Mr. Deters, which he declined, and that tells me we have no agreement,” Mr. Wilson said. “The last time I had a conversation with Eric, he said we "weren't even close.'”


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