Sunday, June 22, 2003

Ky. GOP to convene in Covington


2004 meeting rewards a party stronghold

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - Northern Kentucky Republicans are being rewarded for their success in electing and supporting GOP candidates.

The Kentucky Republican Executive Committee unanimously voted Saturday to hold the party's 2004 state convention at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington.

The convention, where delegates and alternates to the Republican's 2004 national convention in New York will be selected, will be held June 5, said state Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, who is also vice chairman of the Kentucky GOP.

"This is something I've always wanted to see happen," Thayer said by phone following the executive committee's meeting in Frankfort. "Northern Kentucky deserves to host the convention. It's a testament to Northern Kentucky's success in electing Republicans to county, state and federal positions."

Northern Kentucky is, along with south central Kentucky, arguably the greatest stronghold of GOP power in the state. Republicans hold a majority of seats in the statehouse caucus, all three county judge-executive posts and most of the elected offices in the Boone and Kenton county courthouses.

The region also routinely votes Republican in federal and statewide races, though U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas, the only Democrat in Kentucky's eight-member federal delegation, lives in Boone County.

But Boone County is also the largest GOP-controlled county in the state when measured by voter registrations.

Northern Kentucky is home to U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning of Southgate, who is up for re-election next year. Democrats have yet to field a candidate to run against him.

"Kenton County GOP Chairman Greg Shumate and former Fourth District Republican Party Chairman Jay Hall, who also previously headed the Boone County GOP, will co-chair a committee planning the event.

The state convention is held every four years before the national convention

"This is something Jay Hall and I have been working on since 1999," said Thayer. "It's a chance for to Northern Kentucky Republicans to thump their chests a little bit for all the success we've had."

E-mail Patrick Crowley at pcrowley@enquirer.com




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