Democratic National Convention
Monday, August 14, 2000

Gore team plans Kentucky visit

Dems want to up their profile

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LOS ANGELES — The Gore/Lieberman campaign, which has been criticized by Kentucky Democrats for all but snubbing the state on the campaign trail, pledged Monday to have a campaign team in Frankfort next week.

        The team is headed by Nick Allard and will include a political director and press secretary. They are to arrive early next week.

        Members of the campaign team did not say when Kentucky can expect a campaign visit from presidential candidate Al Gore, his running mate Joe Lieberman, or both.

        Several high-profile Kentucky Democrats have said Mr. Gore needs to come to Kentucky soon or risk losing the state in the fall. Those calling for a visit have included Gov. Paul Patton and even Mr. Gore's Kentucky campaign chairman, Louisville businessman Charlie Owen.

Face the people
        Some Democrats say Mr. Gore's absence from the state is the major reason he has trailed the Republican ticket in recent statewide polls.

        “He's got to come into the state and face the people,” said delegate Jerry Stricker, a Covington city commissioner. “I think that's why some people are lukewarm to him.”

Feel left out
        Kentucky Democratic Party leaders said the Gore/Lieberman campaign has heard the complaints about the lack of attention to the state and will respond shortly.

        “We feel kind of left out,” said Democratic National Committeeman Terry McBrayer, a Lexington lawyer and lobbyist advising the Gore campaign in Kentucky.

        Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush has visited Kentucky five times this year, and his running mate Dick Cheney was in Lexington just last week.

        The Republicans have also had staffers working in the state for months.

        Mr. Gore, meanwhile, has made just one campaign trip to Kentucky this year. Some Democrats say Mr. Gore's stance against tobacco has hurt his standing with the state's farmers, and he needs to come to Kentucky to talk about the issue.

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