By Patrick Crowley
Enquirer staff writer
FORT MITCHELL - Kathy Groob's fellow Fort Mitchell city council members have come to her defense in Kenton County's 23rd District Senate race.
Six people on the eight-member council have jointly issued and signed a letter backing Groob and seeking to "set the record straight" over accusations made by her opponent - GOP state Sen. Jack Westwood of Crescent Springs - and the Republican Party of Kentucky.
"As elected member of Fort Mitchell city council, we speak to set the record straight regarding the false accusations ... repeatedly and publicly made against fellow council member Kathy Groob," the council members say in the letter.
Council members Vicki Boerger, Doug Hill, Robert Wilder, Jude Hehman, Ron Powell and Dan Wolff signed the letter.
Westwood campaign manager Scott Sedmak downplayed the significance of the letter, which comes less than a week before Election Day.
"The Groob campaign is the only campaign in this race that has paid for negative television commercials and negative mail against Sen. Westwood," Sedmak said. "She's not fooling anyone by acting innocent."
In one campaign mailer the Republicans sent to voters, Groob is accused of voting to raise her council salary. But the letter points out that Groob voted no.
She has previously said that the increase, the first in 14 years, only applies to the next council that takes office.
Sedmak said that in a recent mailer from the Groob campaign, Westwood is unfairly attacked for voting to raise his legislative pension. "If they are using the excuse that Groob didn't raise her pay because it won't go into effect until next year, why is Kathy sending out mail saying Jack doubled his pension in 2000, even though he was not vested into the pension program in 2000?" Sedmak said. "She cries foul, and then uses the same tactic against us."
The council members also say the Republicans have unfairly accused Groob of not backing the city's police and fire departments.
"Every member of Fort Mitchell City Council, including Kathy Groob, has enthusiastically fully funded and supported our police and fire departments," the letter states.
Groob has also been accused in a Republican Party of Kentucky mailer of supporting same-sex marriages. Her fellow council members say Groob did nothing of the sort. Instead, the GOP is taking out of context an ordinance council passed that redefined the term "family" for zoning regulations.
"There is absolutely no factual basis for the accusation that Kathy voted to support same-sex marriages," the council members said.
Westwood has represented the 23rd District for eight years. It covers Covington, Erlanger, Elsmere, Fort Wright, Crescent Springs, Villa Hills, Bromley, Ludlow, Park Hills, Covington and Fort Mitchell.
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