Kentucky has two very important elections coming this November. These elections are not only of local interest, but they have garnered significant national attention as well.
The first election is for the U.S. Senate. Senator (and former Philadelphia Phillie) Jim Bunning is retiring, and the Democratic candidate Jack Conway and Tea Party Candidate are vying for the votes of Kentuckians.
Rand Paul v. Jack Conway
Conway is a Bobby Kennedy want to be. He is young with the hair and good looks. He comes from money, and he is our state's attorney general. He has done very little in public life except run for public office -- and loss. Of note, he was the plaintiff's lawyer in a malpractice case I was involved with. (Of note, I was found not guilty.) Conway was always nice to me during the trial, but he never struck anybody as genuine or particularly intelligent. It is just hard to imagine this 30 something being good for the country or for the country. Early in the campaign he aligned himself with Pelosi and Obama, but as we went through the summer, he has attempted to distance himself from Obamacare, cap and trade, and democratic policies in general.
Rand Paul, MD is a practicing ophthalmologist. He is the son of Congressman Ron Paul, MD, and he has the same political leanings of his father - smaller government, control spending, and balance the budget. Because of this, Paul has been identified as a Tea Party Candidate. The Democrats have painted him as a "nut case". In reality, very little is known of Paul as he has stayed on message - campaign against the policies of Obama and Pelosi. Any time he gets off message just creates controversy.
Polls currently have Paul ahead although Conway is closing the gap. Kentucky is a Republican state, and it was one of the few states in the last Presidential election that went for McCain. Statewide, the vote should be Republican. Louisville, the largest city, is primarily Democratic. A consultant for the Republican party told me last week that Paul just needs to get to the finish line without controversy and the Senate seat is his. We shall see.
The second election is for the House of Representative seat that represents Louisville. Incumbent and Democratic candidate, John Yarmuth, is being opposed by Republican, Todd Lally. This is shaping up to be a tight race.
John Yarmuth v. Todd Lally
Yarmuth has been in office for 2 years, and he has been an Obama supporter on every major issue. Yarmuth is Jewish and a member of our synagogue. What is most interesting is that Yarmuth is a very successful small businessman; he comes from a family of small businessman - his brother Bill is the CEO of NYSE listed company Almost Family. My brother Rich, who lives in Orlando, is friends with his 1st cousins who own the Smokey Bones BBQ restaurants seen in the Southeast. It is hard to imagine how this Democrat could support the current administration's policies, which appear to be anti - business.
Yarmuth's opponent is Todd Lally. Lally is the ideal candidate. He is young; he has military service as a combat pilot having flown many missions over Iraq and Afghanistan. However, his political experience is limited. Lally is in a tough fight despite the current political environment as Louisville is highly democratic. A Lally win would be emblematic of how voters feel about the current administration and Congress. To vote Yarmuth out in highly Democratic Louisville would be a big surprise! For this reason, this race is being watched at the national level.
Of note, Lally has one of the best campaign commercials I have seen, and I have posted this below.