Rand Paul and Jim Gray to Square Off for Kentucky U.S. Senate Seat

May 17, 2016

Rand Paul (left), and Jim Gray
Credit Paul (photo provided) Gray (Jim Gray for US Senate)

Kentucky's November U.S. Senate matchup is set.

Sen. Rand Paul has secured the Republican nomination in his pursuit of a second term while Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has secured the Democratic nod. 

The Kentucky Republican defeated his two challengers -- James Gould and Steven Slaughter -- while Gray won out against six underfunded Democratic opponents.  

Paul juggled dual campaigns for the White House and re-election to the Senate until early this year, when he ended his struggling presidential bid. 

Earlier today, Paul said it's basically the "patriotic duty" of Kentuckians to vote against against Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton because of her comments about coal.  Paul's comments are more evidence that Kentucky Republicans plan to use Clinton's coal-related remarks against Democratic candidates in the fall general election.

 

Paul rode a wave of tea party support in winning his Senate seat in 2010.  The libertarian-leaning Paul kept to his low tax-and-spend mantra his first Senate term.  He also championed efforts to curtail the federal government's surveillance powers, and has ventured into minority neighborhoods to advocate for criminal-justice reforms.  

Gray is running as an openly gay candidate in a state where Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis drew widespread attention last year for her opposition to same-sex marriage.  

The Democrat helped build his family's successful construction company, and he dipped into his personal wealth to make a $1 million loan to his campaign.  

Kentucky Democrats last won a U.S. Senate election in 1992.