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McConnell Requests Covington Leaders' Presence for Friday Announcement at Chamber

EXCLUSIVE

Senator Mitch McConnell is coming to town on Friday to make a legislative announcement and his office has requested the presence of Covington city leaders.

The announcement is scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce offices in Ft. Mitchell. According to city officials, the purpose of McConnell's visit is not yet known specifically. UPDATE (Wednesday, 6:58 p.m.): A news release from McConnell's office in Washington, DC now specifies that the Senator will speak about a bill he will introduce "to advance Kentucky infrastructure projects".

Asking for Covington leaders' presence at the Chamber of Commerce points to the possibility that the $2.6 billion Brent Spence Bridge corridor project could be involved, though McConnell has long suggested that the federal government would not pay the full bill. Local bridge advocates, including the Chamber, have asked that the bridge project, which includes the construction of a new span adjacent to the current 50-year old Brent Spence to alleviate traffic congestion and the volume of cars on the functionally obsolete structure, be considered one of National Significance.

McConnell's most recent public appearance in Covington, a luncheon at the Covington Business Council, featured the Senate Minority Leader's remarks about Northern Kentucky being the epicenter of the national heroin epidemic. "We're going to be working on increasing funding at the federal level," McConnell said in May. "It will require a greater emphasis from state government as well but you have got a lot of dedicated professionals here being swamped by the challenges. I don't want you to think it's only in Northern Kentucky. It isn't. But you have a huge problem here and we're acutely aware of it and are going to try to be helpful." 

A spokesperson in Sen. McConnell's Washington, DC office told The River City News on Tuesday that more information about the specifics of the visit would be available later in the week.

Brent Cooper, interim president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (who will be replaced by longtime McConnell ally and former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson next month) would not share specifics of the visit's purpose either. "We're thrilled that Senator McConnell will be coming to the Chamber on Friday," Cooper said. "We have been in regular communication with his office regarding a number of issues that are important to the business community in Northern Kentucky and he has always been receptive and has been working with us to address those issues over time."

The River City News will update this story as soon as more information is gathered.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo: McConnell speaks at Fancy Farm in 2013/RCN file