Holcomb Picked for Indiana Republican Governor Bid

Jul 26, 2016

The Republican candidate picked to replace Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on the November ballot says the state is heading in the right direction and he wants to continue with those policies.

The 22-member Indiana Republican state committee voted during a private meeting Tuesday to nominate Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb for the state's top job, a spot that opened up after Pence dropped his re-election bid to become Donald Trump's running mate. Pence had endorsed Holcomb for the nomination.

Holcomb says he appreciates the committee's confidence in him to run against Democratic candidate John Gregg, who narrowly lost to Pence in the 2012 election.

U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita also sought the nomination and congratulated Holcomb after the nomination was announced. The committee's vote wasn't released by party leaders.

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

In another effort to tamp down on discord at the Democratic National Convention, Bernie Sanders will officially nominate his former rival Hillary Clinton for president during this evening's roll call vote.

It would be another move toward unity from the primary runner-up, coming amid continued protests from supporters of the Vermont senator still upset that Clinton will be the Democratic nominee.

The Sanders and Clinton camps are still in talks about the nomination, CNN reports, so details could still change.

Clinton won the most primary popular votes and pledged delegates, and she is poised to officially become the first female nominee of a major political party after Tuesday's roll call vote.

But even an endorsement from Sanders and a speech in favor of Clinton last night hasn't done much to placate the progressive favorite's most fervent supporters. In the final speech the official convention opening Monday night Sanders urged his very vocal, very unhappy supporters who were still calling for a "political revolution" to get behind Clinton to defeat GOP nominee Donald Trump in November.

Gray, Paul to Campaign in Kentucky Coal Country on Tuesday

Jul 26, 2016
Paul (photo provided) Gray (Jim Gray for US Senate)

Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates are campaigning in eastern Kentucky as the race picks up steam heading into the annual Fancy Farm picnic.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gray is scheduled to unveil his plan to help Kentucky's economically distressed coal communities on Tuesday. The Lexington mayor is scheduled to join other state lawmakers including House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate Minority Leader Ray Jones in Pikeville to discuss his plan.

Republicans have criticized Gray and other Democrats as being anti-coal after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said her policies would put coal miners and coal companies out of business. Clinton later said she was mistaken in her remarks.

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul will hold four town-hall style events on Tuesday in Corbin, Pineville, Harlan and Whitesburg.

Trump Picks Up Fundraising Momentum In Kentucky

Jul 25, 2016

For the first time this election season, Kentuckians gave more in a single month to Republican nominee for president Donald Trump than to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

The GOP candidate raised $75,387 in June from individual Kentucky donors, according to new data from the Federal Election Commission. The former U.S. secretary of state raised $73,153 during the same time period.

The June haul represents a major shift for Trump, whose meager Kentucky fundraising had trailed behind all other major Republican candidates, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. In each of the first four months of the year, Trump never raised more than $9,000.

But in June Trump more than doubled his total pull from the commonwealth. He has raised a total of $130,049 since March 2015 in the state, while Clinton has garnered $783,046.

J. Tyler Franklin

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has raised more than $1.2 million in the fundraising quarter that ended June 30.

The haul is in addition to the more than $97,000 Paul raised in the one-month period leading up to the May primary, giving the first-term Senator more than $2.2 million in cash available to spend from his campaign account.

Records show Paul's Democratic challenger Jim Gray has just over $1 million in cash available to spend.

Rand Paul Victory Kentucky, a joint fundraising organization between Paul and the Republican Party of Kentucky, has just over $10,000 in cash available to spend.

Paul spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper said the campaign is "extremely pleased" with its fundraising efforts and confident Paul will have the resources necessary to spread his message to voters.

Abbey Oldham, PBS Newshour

Kentucky’s Secretary of State says Americans can expect a big contrast between this week’s Democratic National Convention and last week’s Republican gathering in Cleveland.

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is speaking at her party’s convention in Philadelphia. She told WKU Public Radio Democrats will offer a more positive view of the U.S. than the one described by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“You’re going to see people from all across this nation, and importantly, our nominee, that believe America is already great. And we need a President that recognizes that, and will build upon that—unite people, not dividing them with hateful rhetoric.”

Grimes called Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a role model and friend for more than 24 years. The Clinton family is close with Grimes and her family, including Jerry Lundergan, Grimes' father and former chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.

Grimes' mother, Charlotte Lundergan, is a superdelegate pledged to support Clinton.

Meg Kelly/NPR

If there was ever a time to show party unity, this would be it. This week's Democratic Convention is supposed to be about showing a party standing behind its presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton — and it was headed in that direction by featuring a speech from Bernie Sanders on opening night Monday.

But it puts a damper on that whole unity feeling now that party Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz will resign after the convention — not to mention that her reason for stepping down is that leaked emails showed DNC staffers favoring Clinton during the primaries, and even discussing ways to help her defeat Sanders.

The controversy is an unpleasant distraction for a party launching into a four-day sales pitch to voters (and a response to last week's Republican convention). Just two weeks ago, after Sanders endorsed Clinton, Democrats seemed to be coming together after a bitter, divisive primary season.

But then, Clinton chose Tim Kaine as her running mate — many Sanders supporters and other progressives feel he is too moderate to advance their interests.

Now, yet another email scandal has added to Democrats' woes. And it has handed the GOP more ammunition to use after their own convention, which featured a plagiarism scandal and a high-profile snub from Ted Cruz. On Sunday, Trump took to Twitter to gloat over the Democrats' new problems.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton will break the penultimate glass ceiling this week — becoming the first female nominee of a major American political party.

It's a historic milestone that's been obscured by Donald Trump's chaotic convention and, now, on the eve of the Democratic convention, the resignation of the DNC chairman following the leak of 20,000 emails showing that the DNC had its thumb on the scale for Clinton. The Clinton campaign blames the leak on the Russians, who they say are trying to put their thumb on the scales for Trump.


Here are 5 things to watch in Philadelphia this week:

How unified will the Democrats be?

The Wikileaks email dump threatened to upend the careful truce worked out between the Sanders camp and Clinton campaign. But it has led to a huge victory for Sanders. He got Debbie Wasserman Schultz's head on a platter. Sanders has had a terrible relationship with Schultz. He even endorsed her primary opponent. Did Schultz's resignation satisfy the Sanders forces? Or will they have a demonstration or a walkout on the floor of the convention, presenting an image of a party almost as divided as the GOP? The answer may come Monday night when Sanders addresses the convention. Will he wholeheartedly and enthusiastically back Clinton? If he does, that will go a long way to unifying the party.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is Hillary Clinton's choice for her vice president, giving her a running mate with experience at all levels of government to round out the Democratic ticket.

Clinton told supporters the news in a text message and a tweet on Friday evening just after 8 p.m. ET. According to a Clinton campaign official, the former secretary of state called Kaine this evening to make the formal offer.

In recent days, Kaine had emerged as the favorite — albeit safe — pick for Clinton, over other finalists such as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Labor Secretary Tom Perez and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

According to the Clinton campaign official, their vetting process first began back in April with more than two dozen potential running mates. Kaine and Clinton campaigned last week in Northern Virginia as a tryout of sorts, and Clinton walked away impressed and comfortable with him as a partner. The two met with aides and then one-on-one for a total of about 90 minutes that night.

Last Saturday, the Kaine and Clinton met together with their families for lunch at the Clintons' home in Chappaqua, N.Y. She remained comfortable with Kaine as someone who could do the job, and the alliance was made.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

It has been said that "to cleave" is the only verb in English that connotes one specific action and its direct opposite. To cleave sometimes means to hold together, and it can also mean to split apart.

That's why Cleveland was the perfect city to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. Because this week, in this town, the GOP demonstrated both its persistent divisions and its instinct for overcoming them.

The bottom line result of four nights in the Quicken Loans Arena was the consummation of the party's union with Donald J. Trump, its new master and presidential champion. The coming together was never going to be easy or smooth. It was a match made not in heaven, but in the hot flames of the party's debates, primaries and caucuses.

Trump emerged from that crucible with 14 million votes, a fact with which he began his acceptance speech on Thursday night. It was more than any Republican contender in history, a fact that Trump also happened to mention.

Trump then reviewed the greatest hits from his campaign rally speeches, but in an LP format. He took the stage a little after 10:15 p.m. and spoke until about 11:30. C-SPAN clocked it at 73 minutes and said it was the longest since at least 1972.

Lisa Autry

A group of Kentuckians will witness history being made next week at the Democratic National Convention.  Hillary Clinton is expected to officially become the nation’s first female presidential nominee. 

Kentucky is sending 55 delegates and five alternates to the convention in Philadelphia.  Among them is Michele Thomas of Bowling Green who knows a thing or two about her party’s national conventions.  She was an alternate delegate for Hillary Clinton in 2008 and a delegate for Barack Obama in 2012.  Her face lights up just talking about the experiences.

“There’s just a poignancy in the air.  There’s exhilaration," says Thomas.  "You’re there with a lot of people excited about their candidate and who want their candidate to win.  It’s similar, but not the same as a football game like if Louisville plays UK.”

A corner of her home is a museum of sorts for Democratic politics.

Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes will speak to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week.

Grimes was one of dozens of speakers added to the agenda on Thursday. The secretary of state is in her second term in office, having narrowly won re-election in November.

Grimes gained national prominence in 2014 for her challenge to veteran U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. McConnell won the race and would go on to become Senate majority leader.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton campaigned for Grimes several times in her Senate campaign. The Clinton family is close with Grimes and her family, including Jerry Lundergan, Grimes' father and former chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.

Grimes' mother, Charlotte Lundergan, is a superdelegate pledged to support Clinton.


The fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention is all about the GOP's presidential nominee: Donald J. Trump.

Trump has been a presence every night of the convention. He introduced his wife, Melania, on Monday; briefly addressed delegates via video Tuesday; and helicoptered into Cleveland Wednesday to appear on stage with vice presidential nominee Mike Pence – and, of course, stare down rogue Republican Ted Cruz.

But tonight is Trump's big moment – indeed, one of the biggest moments of his presidential campaign. The big question: which Trump will show up? The on-message candidate who reads off the TelePrompTer? Or the Trump who ad-libs, riffs off the crowd, and strays from the campaign's message of choice?

Trump will speak in prime time. He'll be introduced by his daughter, Ivanka. Other major speakers include:

Evan Vucci/AP

For all those who view the nominating conventions of the major parties as overly scripted, predictable and boring, Wednesday night's session of the Republican National Convention came as a jolt.

The third night of this extravaganza had all the usual hoopla — plus a blackout on the jumbo screens, delegates screaming at each other, and a major presidential candidate getting booed off the stage.

Not since the parties and their nominees began carefully scripting these quadrennial affairs a generation ago have we seen such an outburst of dueling egos and counterproductive emotion.

Did we say we wanted more sense of drama? Imagine two famous actors involved in a climactic scene, each fired with his own ambition and working furiously to upstage the other. Now envision such a clash playing out before thousands of delegates and onlookers and millions of TV viewers and voters.

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, the first- and second-place finishers in the GOP's primaries and caucuses, went at it once more with the whole world watching. The high stakes of their brinkmanship brought to the flashpoint all the anger and tension pent up in this convention over three days — and in this party over several decades.

Gage Skidmore

During his speech Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention, State Sen. Ralph Alvarado urged Hispanics to vote for Donald Trump.

“Hispanics believe what Republicans believe,” he said. “Traditional family values, church, faith in God, the dignity of work and the opportunity of self-sufficiency that comes from a free society and a limited government.”

Alvarado, a Republican from Winchester and a physician, is the first Hispanic elected to the Kentucky General Assembly and has garnered a reputation for his opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

He delivered part of his speech in Spanish, saying that Hispanics escaped countries full of corruption and political dishonesty.

“Please don’t let this misery occur in this country as well,” Alvarado said in Spanish. “Vote with me, vote Republican and vote for Donald Trump.”