Rand Paul

Paul (photo provided) Gray (Jim Gray for US Senate)

Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates will make their first appearance together at the rowdy Fancy Farm political picnic amid a turbulent national election year.

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and Democratic Lexington Mayor Jim Gray are both scheduled to face the raucous crowds in Fancy Farm, where thousands of people have gathered every year since 1880 at St. Jerome Parish to eat pork, play Bingo and watch to see how politicians deliver a speech while being peppered with boos and insults from at least half the crowd.

It will be Gray's first appearance in the shaded pavilion as the mayor of Kentucky's second largest city is making his first bid for statewide office. Paul, who is finishing up his first term in the U.S. Senate, is a Fancy Farm veteran.

Lisa Autry

U.S. Senator Rand Paul says a more hybrid approach is needed in providing health care to the nation’s veterans.  He told a veterans group in Bowling Green on Wednesday that they should be able to get more care locally. 

Speaking at the Joint Executive Committee of Veterans Organizations meeting, Senator Paul said the nation can’t keep building billion-dollar VA hospitals and that much of the care veterans receive could come from their local doctors.

"I think if you have a war-related injury like an amputation, a gunshot, a burn, post-traumatic stress, I think the VA hospital should specialize in those things," Paul said.  "If you need routine care, and the military has promised to give it to you, maybe we should do it locally and it might be less expensive and more convenient for the veteran."

Senator Paul has said the quality of care at VA hospitals is good, but their distribution of health care is bad.  He said treatment is often rationed through long waiting lists under the single-payer military health insurance system. 

Paul Has More than $300,000 in Unpaid Campaign Bills

Jul 31, 2016
Abbey Oldham

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, known as an anti-debt crusader, piled up more than $300,000 in unpaid bills from his failed presidential campaign.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Rand Paul for President had $301,108 in debts and $2,558 in cash on hand as of June 30 in its most recent Federal Election Commission filing.

The campaign owes dozens of businesses and individuals for rent, insurance, telemarketing, phone and internet access, legal fees, consulting, facility and equipment rental and expense reimbursements promised to campaign workers.

Peter Kutrumanes says his company is owned $3,962 for equipment leased to Paul's campaign. He says his company won't do business with Paul again.

Paul campaign spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper says everyone will be paid in full.

Paul is running for another Senate term in Kentucky. He's running against Democratic nominee and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

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.

WFPL News

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 U.S. Senator Rand Paul says he hopes speakers at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland reach out to the nation’s immigrants.

Paul told WKU Public Radio he hopes the GOP sends the message “that our party is welcoming to all people, no matter where you came from, or where you immigrated from. That we look at immigrants seeking freedom and prosperity as assets to our country, and that we’re the party of opportunity, and the party that wants to alleviate poverty through the creation of jobs.”

The Bowling Green Republican says he disagrees with statements made by his party’s presumptive presidential candidate, Donald Trump, about banning all Muslim immigrants from entering the country.

In December, the Trump campaign issued a statement saying the candidate was “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Rand Paul Skipping Republican National Convention

Jul 15, 2016

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul will skip the Republican National Convention next week.

The ophthalmologist and former presidential candidate is running for re-election in Kentucky. He is scheduled to perform pro bono eye surgeries in Paducah on Tuesday and has scheduled a number of town hall events throughout Kentucky on Wednesday.

Paul was one of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's harshest critics on the campaign trail, once referring to him as an "orange faced windbag."

But since ending his presidential campaign, Paul has repeatedly said he will support Trump's candidacy for president. The two men both spoke to the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Louisville in May.

Paul faces Democrat Jim Gray in the November election. Gray is the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky's second-largest city.

Sen. Rand Paul stopped at a Louisville Goodwill on Friday to talk about ways to help people with criminal records return to the workforce.

Paul has made criminal justice reform a key initiative during his time in Washington, though the Senate hasn’t passed any major proposals.

Goodwill operates programs that help people with criminal records enter the workforce. On Friday Goodwill and KentuckianaWorks presented their “Re-Entry By Design” program, which helps people on probation or parole put together resumes, prepare for interviews and ultimately find a job.

At the event, Paul said family values-oriented Republicans should logically support legislation that helps people find work despite their criminal records.

WFPL News

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is one of many high-profile Republicans who are either uncommitted or say they won’t attend their party’s national convention this summer.

Paul and presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had several intense exchanges during presidential debates earlier this year. Paul is one of Kentucky’s convention delegates, but hasn’t committed to attending the Cleveland event.

A spokesman for the Bowling Green Republican told the New York Times the Senator’s schedule was “still being firmed up.”

Two leading GOP politicians from the state hosting the convention, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Senator Rob Portman, haven’t committed to attending the convention.

Senator John McCain of Arizona is one of four living former Republican presidential nominees skipping the event.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL News

Despite his failed presidential run, Sen. Rand Paul easily won the Republican nomination for reelection to his Senate seat last week.

Paul said he would support his former rival in the presidential race — Donald Trump — in the likely case that the New York businessman is the party’s nominee. But during an interview at last week’s NRA conference in Louisville, Paul said Trump “has a ways to go” to unite the Republican Party behind him.

“But I think he’s heading in the right direction,” Paul added.

Trump is the only candidate remaining in the Republican nominating contest. He’s been working to unite GOP leaders who have been skeptical of his candidacy and conservative credentials.

Some Republicans have questioned Trump’s support of gun rights; he worked to solidify his qualifications at the Louisville NRA event, calling for the elimination of gun-free zones and bashing likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s record on guns.

Abbey Oldham, WKU Public Radio

Riding a wave of notoriety from his failed presidential campaign, Sen. Rand Paul has returned to Kentucky, relatively unscathed, to run for re-election to his U.S. Senate seat.

Paul has an easy path to securing the nomination in Tuesday’s primary election. With no major challengers this year, he hasn’t run TV ads or participated in public debates. Paul has appeared in a series of town hall meetings across the state, touting his platform, which is essentially the same as it was during his 2010 race.

A vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act, environmental regulations and intervention in foreign wars, Paul voted against budget compromises that would have avoided a government shutdown in 2013. On the campaign trail in Kentucky this spring, he defended the move.

“My point is that maybe it needs to shut down so we can fix it,” he said. “We have to do something about it.”

There are two Republicans running against Paul — Lexington financial analyst James Gould and Louisville engineer Stephen Slaughter. Both are political newcomers and haven’t run high-profile campaigns.

Grant Short

An Owensboro man who hopes to replace Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator says lawmakers need to do more to strengthen working-class families. 

Grant Short is seeking the Democratic nomination to replace Republican incumbent Rand Paul. 

In Bowling Green on Wednesday, Short talked about his Family Values Plan that calls for child care subsidies, federal sick days, and universal Pre-K, among other things.  Short added that he has a plan to pay for it all.

"I've high-balled this at $1.8 billion to implement over ten years," Short told WKU Public Radio.  "The way you pay for it is by subsidizing human beings the same way as subsidized global oil companies.  We subsidize them on a rate of a trillion dollars, so I think we can find one-tenth of that to subsidize the American family who is struggling."

Abbey Oldham, WKU Public Radio

U.S. Senator Rand Paul predicts Saturday’s Republican presidential caucus will help his party in Tuesday’s special state House elections.

Four vacant House seats will be decided. A clean sweep by Republicans would create an even 50-50 split in the chamber.

Democrats have controlled the Kentucky House since 1921.

Sen. Paul says Saturday’s caucus gave GOP House candidates an easy way to meet a lot of Republican voters, something the Bowling Green lawmaker believes will pay dividends Tuesday.

"Those candidates stood there and greeted thousands of Republicans. Think how hard it is to go door-to-door and meet Republicans. But what if 2,000 show up and you can sit there and shake their hands, and remind them to turn out three days later?”

Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says that the Senate shouldn’t confirm an appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Obama because it amounts to a “conflict of interest.”

The president has said he’ll nominate someone to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last week.

This spring, the Supreme Court will take up a case concerning the legality of Obama’s executive orders that granted legal status to about 5 million people who entered the U.S. without documentation as children.

Paul, a Republican from Bowling Green, is crisscrossing Kentucky to drum up support for his reelection bid. On Friday, he stopped at Tonya’s Hometown Buffet in Lawrenceburg to speak to a crowd of about 50 supporters.

Citing the recent 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that halted Obama’s Clean Power Plan, Paul said that with the absence of Scalia, a sympathetic appointee would tip the scales in favor of the president’s immigration policies.

Health Care, Economy Focus Of Paul’s Town Hall Events

Feb 15, 2016
Ashley Lopez, WFPL

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says he will help Gov. Matt Bevin get a waiver from the federal government this summer to begin charging Medicaid recipients for their health insurance.

That will be part of Paul’s message this week as he visits 18 Kentucky cities in four days, his first major trip in the Commonwealth since ending his presidential campaign.

The town hall-style events begin in Scottsville on Tuesday and end in Radcliff on Saturday. Paul has had similar trips in recent months, but this time he won’t be dogged by questions about his other campaign.

Paul is favored to again win the Republican nomination, where he could face Democrat Jim Gray in the fall. The Lexington mayor is the most well-known of the seven Democrats vying for the nomination.

Paul may also discuss the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the increasingly charged political debate about how to replace him on the court.

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