By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer
A veteran GOP leader with strong Northern Kentucky ties was elected vice chairman of the Kentucky Republican Party Saturday in Frankfort.
Marcus Carey, 51, a lawyer and Erlanger native who lives in Owen County, was elected without opposition during a gathering of the Kentucky Republican State Executive Committee.
Carey will continue as chairman of the 4th District GOP in Northern Kentucky. He said he is "proud but humble" to serve with other state GOP leaders, including Ellen Williams, the party's chairwoman, and Mike Duncan, a senior adviser to Gov. Ernie Fletcher and the treasurer of the Republican National Committee.
"To serve with Ellen Williams and Mike Duncan I feel like the world's a tuxedo and I'm a pair of brown shoes," Carey said after Saturday's vote. "I look forward to continuing my service to the Republican Party that began more than 30 years ago."
Carey has law offices in Owenton and Erlanger and has been active in Northern Kentucky GOP politics and campaigns. He replaces state Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown, a former Grant County resident who represents southern Kenton County in the Kentucky General Assembly.
Thayer, also a former 4th District GOP Chairman, said he is stepping down after five years to concentrate on this November re-election campaign. He is challenged by Williamstown Democrat Cliff Wallace.
Thayer was vice chairman for five years.
"Marcus is the second consecutive vice chairman from Northern Kentucky," Thayer said. "He will be an excellent and loyal vice chairman. He is a terrific spokesman for the Republican Party, an accomplished fund-raiser and grass-roots organizer. I couldn't be more proud for him to take my place."
The Republican Party has made tremendous strides in Kentucky over the last decade and particularly in the last five years. In addition to the governor's mansion the GOP also holds six of Kentucky's eight federal seats in Washington and the state Senate in Frankfort.
"I'm proud of what we've accomplished and I'm proud of helping bring the Republican State Convention to Northern Kentucky for the first time," Thayer said. "I'm looking forward to Republicans all over the state gathering in what has become the Republican stronghold of Kentucky."
The state GOP convention is set for June 5 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington.
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