WKU Public Radio News Staff
Wed January 29, 2014
New PAC is Aimed at Helping Kentucky Republicans Win Control of State House
A newly-formed Super PAC will target Kentucky House races this fall in an effort to win a GOP majority in that chamber.
New Direction Kentucky is a nonprofit founded by former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner, who is rumored to be a GOP contender for next year's governor’s race.
Currently, Democrats retain a narrow majority in the House, with 54 seats to the Republicans’ 46.
New Direction Kentucky spokesman Joe Burgan says the group will not directly give money to campaigns, but will raise funds to purchase ads in contested races come November.
“We will do grassroots work; we will do paid media; we will do earned media. So that’s TV, radio, mail. Working with the press. To really do everything we can to get these candidates across the line," Burgain said.
The group is comprised of business and political luminaries, including Humana founder David Jones.
Burgan did not say how much money the group intends to raise.
A former Louisville Metro Council member is launching a political action committee to help Republicans win a majority of seats in the state House.
Hal Heiner is also believed to be considering a run for governor in 2015.
If the GOP becomes the majority party in the Kentucky House, it will be an historic event. Democrats have had control of the chamber for more than 90 years. Democrats currently hold a 54-46 edge in the House, but Republicans have been slowly chipping away at the Democratic advantage in recent years.
Heiner is announcing the creation of a PAC called New Direction Kentucky which will raise money for GOP House candidates throughout the commonwealth. A spokesman for Heiner told the Courier-Journal he wouldn’t say exactly how much the PAC was aiming to raise, but he said the effort would easily be the largest Kentucky-based group aimed at flipping control of the state House.
Heiner ran an unsuccessful campaign for Louisville mayor in 2010, and is now considering a run for governor next year. If he enters that race he could face a GOP primary fight with Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who is also thinking about a gubernatorial bid.