Sunday, March 25, 2001

Lucas may face competition

Republican considering run for Congress

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas, a Boone County Democrat, may be close to drawing a Republican opponent for next year's congressional election.

        Boone County Republicans say Geoff Davis, a business owner and military veteran from Hebron, is considering the race and is close to deciding.

        “He is exploring the race,” said Marc Wilson, a Republican political consultant from Florence.

        “He's meeting with the right people, the party people, business people and potential donors in the district,” Mr. Wilson said Thursday.

        “He's been to Washington, talking to Republican Party officials, and he's close to making his decision,” he said. “He knows it would be a tough race, but a guy with fire in his belly who can raise money can win this thing.”

        Little is known about Mr. Davis. He has told supporters he is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and he is a principal in Capstone Inc., a manufacturing consulting firm he operates either in or near his home in Hebron.

        Mr. Davis has also been reaching out to party leaders and activists. At last month's 4th District Lincoln Day Dinner, Mr. Davis not only attended but was the only candidate to spend $1,000 sponsoring a table.

        Hayes Robertson, a GOP consultant from Covington, said Mr. Davis' lack of name recognition will be a problem.

        “He's got to get his name out there and the best way to do that is with money,” Mr. Robertson said. “But the word around Republican circles is (Mr. Davis) is willing to put some of his own money up to get started.”

        “We's a well-spoken individual, a successful businessman and a military veteran,” Boone County Republican Party Chairman Ed Moore said.

        “He's also going to be an aggressive fund-raiser and he's willing to lend his campaign $100,000,” Mr. Moore said.

        According to his year-end filing with the Federal Election Commission, Mr. Lucas had about $100,000 in his campaign account on Dec. 31.

        Angie Dixon, a Lucas political staffer, would not say Thursday how much the two-term congressman has raised since then.

        “We are not going to reveal any information on fund-raising until the midyear finance reports are due in June,” Ms. Dixon said.

        Mr. Lucas has also opened a campaign office in Erlanger and has hired a professional fund-raiser, Christina Gilgor.

        The campaign's 35-member finance committee is chaired by two veteran political activists: lawyers Mark Guilfoyle of Edgewood and Bill Robinson of Erlanger.

        The Lucas campaign has also started a new fund-raising arm, The Young Professionals Committee.

        Bob Doyle, Mr. Lucas' Washington D.C.-based political consultant, described it as a group of 45 “young professional leaders who will be raising funds for the Lucas campaign at the grass-roots level.”


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