Republican congressional candidate Geoff Davis was endorsed Monday by party officials and leaders from the western end of the Fourth District, including former U.S. Senate aide Hunter Bates.
Bates, a former aide to Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, is now working as a lawyer in Oldham County, which makes up the district's western boundary. He made news earlier this year by dropping off the GOP gubernatorial ticket after a state court judge ruled he did not meet residency requirements to run for lieutenant governor.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ernie Fletcher replaced Bates on the ticket with Steve Pence. Bates pledged he would stay active in GOP politics.
Bates had also briefly campaigned in the Fourth District primary before joining Fletcher's campaign.
Joining Bates in endorsing Davis were former Fourth District Congressman Gene Snyder, state Sen. Ernie Harris of Crestwood, state Rep. Tim Feeley, also of Crestwood and a group of Oldham County officials.
Davis is running against Erlanger lawyer Kevin Murphy in the May GOP primary. The winner runs against three-term U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas in November of 2004. Davis lost to Lucas in last year's election.
"For five long years the families of the Fourth (District) have not had a seat at the table in the U.S. House," Bates said in a statement. "It's time for that to change. I believe that Geoff Davis is the man who can make that change in 2004."
Murphy pointed out that shortly after Davis lost the 2002 race to Lucas, McConnell suggested that it was time for another Republican besides Davis to run for the office.
Two Northern Kentucky debates have been scheduled between gubernatorial candidates Republican Ernie Fletcher and Democrat Ben Chandler.
The pair will square off Sept. 3 during an hour-long debate at Toyota Motor Manufacturing North American Inc. headquarters in Erlanger at an invitation-only event open to Toyota employees and selected local government, business and community leaders. The candidates will be asked their views on questions and issues concerning Northern Kentucky, Toyota said in a statement.
The candidates will debate Sept. 30 at 4 p.m. at Northern Kentucky University in a debate organized by Legacy, a group of young professionals active in Northern Kentucky politics and community issues. The debate is open to the public.
GOP meets in Highland Heights
The Campbell County Republican Party will meet tonightat the Highland Heights Civic Building, 175 Johns Hill Road. The agenda includes planning for the fall elections, including campaigning at this weekend's Alexandria Fair. The meeting is open to the public. For information, call 859-441-9100 or visit the party's Web site at www.campbellgop.org.
Kenton County Property Value Administrator Merrick Krey, an Edgewood Democrat, will hold a campaign fund-raiser tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. at 40 W. Pike St. in Covington. The suggested contribution is $100. For information call 859-620-5686.
Krey, a veteran of more than 25 years in office, is being challenged by Republican Kevin Black in the fall.
Senator gets college money
Kentucky U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, a Southgate Republican, announced that he has secured a $32,000 planning grant for the Gateway Community and Technical College. The money is coming through the U.S. Department of Education's Strengthening Institutions Program and will be used by the college to create a development plan that will include identifying and analyzing potential long-term improvements.
Front Row Fireworks
The Kenton County Democratic Party will hold a Front Row Fireworks fund-raiser for the Kentucky Democratic Party Sunday from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at the Covington condominium of Jerry Stricker. The event coincides with the annual Toyota/WEBN Fireworks that conclude the annual Riverfest celebration.
Stricker lives in the Riverside Terrace Condominiums, which are along the riverfront and just east of the Roebling Suspension Bridge.
The cost is $100. Reservations must be made by Wednesday. For more information call Stricker at 859-431-5554.
To submit an item to Political Notebook contact Patrick Crowley by phone 859-578-5581, by fax 859-578-5565, by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail in care of the Kentucky Enquirer, 226 Grandview Drive, Fort Mitchell, Ky, 41017.
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