The Richmond Register

State News

February 24, 2014

Comer positioning with gubernatorial politicking



Rumors are circulating Heiner has chosen a running mate – national Republican committee woman K.C. Crosbie of Lexington, who ran a competitive but unsuccessful 2011 race against Democratic state Treasurer Todd Hollenbach.

Neither Heiner nor Crosbie will directly address the rumors so far – but in Republican circles it’s considered a done deal. That includes Comer. (Crosbie declined to comment when contacted by CNHI News.)

“I’m not surprised at all,” Comer said. He suggested Crosbie may have first declined Heiner’s office only to be persuaded by outside forces, some of them aligned with other candidates or with retired highway construction mogul Leonard Lawson. (Sources close to Crosbie and Lawson flatly deny that’s true.)

Heiner is expected to make a public announcement of his plans sometime in the next couple of weeks while Comer prefers Republican hopefuls to wait until after the November elections so the party can concentrate on efforts to wrest majority control of the state House of Representatives from the Democrats. That’s what Comer has previously said he plans to do but he hedged a bit Saturday night.

“Well, that’s the plan,” Comer said. “But now, sometimes plans don’t work out the way you’d hoped.”

On top of his pointed comments in Somerset last fall, Comer has openly called for a different kind of Republican message, one that focuses on new ideas, fresh faces and fiscal efficiency while not alienating younger and minority voters. It’s similar to the approach of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, who is eyeing a 2016 race for president and has said the party must adapt and welcome new supporters and ideas or continue losing national elections.

Comer told the audience here Saturday about efficiencies he’s implemented at the Agriculture Department and said he’s actually requesting less funding for the legislature in the next two-year budget.

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