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Ken Rechtin's Another Voice: Rumor Has It

A feature of this weekly column will be a section called Survey Says, akin to Family Feud.
 
So, last week’s Survey Says (There were 99 responses!):
 
A little over half of the respondents identify themselves as Democrats both on a national and a local level. And, 55% agree that the two party system is dead in Northern Kentucky; and over 60% feel that it will either never return or take at least three election cycles (12 years) before another competitive party emerges.
 
Over 70% believe that the Tea Party is a subset of the Republican Party.
 
As for having your voice heard, the respondents chose a letter to the editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer and their ‘community’ papers, The Recorders, as their first choice and the NKY Chamber of Commerce as their last.
 
The final question: how we should refer to the grouping of Boone, Kenton and Campbell Counties. There is very strong dislike to my naming it NorKey. (Immediately, I will discontinue using that name.) The following were some of the more interesting suggestions: “The Lost Counties, The Land Time has Forgotten, The Democratic Dead Zone, Southern Ohio, and Greater Covington...”
 
The preferred designation was just a simple: NKY.
 
Thanks to all who responded.
 
Now onto this week’s column...
 
Occasionally, this column may be devoted to rumors (and some facts). 
 
It could become a regular column feature, if you, the reader, like these discussions.
 
The amazing thing about what is said as a rumor is that it can be all correct, partially correct or totally incorrect, if you begin with “I heard” or “Just sayin'”. In order to be a true rumor, from whom the rumor was heard must not be disclosed in order to protect the innocent rumor mongers.
 
But, let’s begin this column with facts:
 
In quiet, hushed conversations around the local country club bars and at NKY Chamber of Commerce gatherings, the ‘traditional middle of the road’ Northern Kentucky Republicans are saying: “Many of us feel that the current 4th District Congressman (a fellow named Thomas Massie) does not represent the mainstream of our party. Additionally, he does not live in the center of wisdom (Boone, Kenton or Campbell Counties). Therefore, he is very vulnerable to losing his elected position. We need someone who represents our interests.” 
 
These same folks would like to have Geoff Davis back. If pressed, they would even welcome back Ken Lucas. But, we know that a Democrat cannot get elected in NKY for the foreseeable future. We learned this in the first column.
 
Now, how about those rumors? “Just sayin'” the following people are being suggested as serious potential opponents to Congressman Massie: Judges-Executive Steve Pendery of Campbell County or Gary Moore of Boone County or State Representative Alecia Webb-Edgington. Each has expressed interest in this office in the past.
 
  • Alecia Webb Edgington: After incumbent Republican U.S. Congressman Geoff Davis decided to retire, she decided to run for the seat currently held by Congressman Massie. Announcing her interest, she said, “Congressman Geoff Davis leaves big shoes to fill. I applaud him for his effective leadership and wish him well as he returns to the private sector." She was defeated by Massie during the GOP Primary. She has the distinct advantage of being a woman! She has good firm conservative credentials. With prior endorsements from Geoff Davis and Jim Bunning, she would perform very well against the incumbent.
 
  • Judge Executive Gary Moore: Filed for the office and was also defeated by Massie. During that Campaign, Moore said that while he believes in smaller government on fiscal issues, government has a role in protecting “the moral fiber of the country.” He has consistently been reelected to the Judge-Executive position. His Achilles heel might be that, it is rumored, he was once a Democrat!
 
  • Judge Executive Steve Pendery: Filed for the office in 2003. The tide swelled quickly behind his campaign. Surely, he would have been the successful Republican primary candidate. After amassing $100,000 in contributions, Judge Pendery withdrew his candidacy citing unspecified family concerns. It was reported that more than 100 people had signed up to co-host a scheduled fundraiser in his native Fort Thomas. His leaving this campaign disappointed a good many people in NKY.  Judge Pendery enjoys the support of a wide section of not only his party, but many “country club” Democrats as well. But, there may be hard feelings within his own party about his dropping out of the prior congressional campaign.
 
Other names, not as serious as the three above, but still very credible, which are mentioned in even more hushed conversations, are: Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce president (and former Kentucky Secretary of State) Trey Grayson, retired Kentucky State Senator Katie Stine​, and newly elected Judge-Executive Kris Knocklemann of Kenton County.
 
So, is the Congressman beatable? Can one of the above mount a successful primary campaign? Would a multi-candidate primary benefit the incumbent? 
 
The answer to all of the above questions is an emphatic: YES!
 
So, who will it be? Even though, if this primary occurs, it will be a closed primary (meaning an election only open to registered Republican voters), for the survey this week (less than one minute to take) there will be an opportunity for Democrats to vote for their favorite as well. Click here for this week’s survey site.
 
If the country club/chamber GOP wishes to have a voice, they must unify around one challenger to Congressman Thomas Massie and they must unify soon. 
 
The views and opinions expressed here in “Another Voice” do not reflect the views or opinions of The River City News, it owners, writers, or editors. These are solely the ideas of Ken Rechtin. If you wish to make comment to “Another Voice”, Ken can be reached via email at [email protected] or you may leave a comment here. All rights to use of “Another Voice” in any fashion are retained by Ken Rechtin. Please contact him for any use of his columns.
 
Photo: Massie attends an event/RCN file