With their only face-to-face debate and Election Day both coming up, Kentucky’s U.S. Senate candidates were at the same event Thursday night for the first time in two months.
The candidates will debate for the first time Monday evening.
Incumbent Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Democratic candidate Jim Gray both attended the annual Red, White & Blue political forum in Owensboro.
Gray, the mayor of Lexington, criticized Paul for not supporting a bill that would shore up the ailing pensions of United Mine Workers of America members. And he compared himself to Kentucky’s late U.S. Senator from Owensboro saying, “Wendell Ford would have been with these mine workers that are losing their pensions and their benefits. Now I’ll tell you, I’m going to be a senator like Wendell Ford.”
Paul indicated he wouldn’t vote for the bill last month, saying that he was in favor of the concept but thought that a solution should help all miner pensions, not just those of the UMWA union.
Paul said the solution to the problem is to “stop hurting the coal miner.” “Why are the pension funds short? Why is this miner suffering because his pension is short? It’s because Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama killed the coal industry. They can’t contribute to the pension because of the war on coal.”
Paul and Gray will meet in their first and only in-person debate on Monday night. The event will be televised live on KET.
A Babbage Cofounder Pulse poll from mid-October showed Paul leading Gray 33 percent to 26.5 percent with 40 percent of would-be voters undecided.