Thursday, November 4, 2004
Republicans bask in victory
Keene only Democrat who won in N.Ky.
By Patrick Crowley
Enquirer staff writer
Republicans are giddy and jovial, Democrats down and distraught.
It must be the day after an election in Northern Kentucky.
The swath of victories GOP candidates cut across Northern Kentucky continued a trend that has led to Republican dominance of local elections.
GOP candidates won races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and Kentucky statehouse Tuesday. The only solace for Democrats was Dennis Keene's victory over Republican Mark Hayden in Campbell County's 67th House District, in an area still dominated by Democratic voters.
Republican leaders say they are witnessing factors that have come together and led to the party's success.
"We've had a combination of good candidates, effective campaigns and an area where the philosophy of the people matches up with our platform and our candidates," said Kenton County GOP Chairman Greg Shumate.
"Once that snowball started going down the hill, we always knew it would be awfully hard for (the Democrats) to stop it," Shumate said Wednesday. "Now we have a deep bench of candidates, lots of energetic young volunteers, and I don't see the trends turning anytime soon."
Fourth District GOP Chairman Marcus Carey said the party's rank-and-file volunteers deserve much of the credit.
Carey said he was overwhelmed by the volunteer effort at the Republican Party of Kentucky's Victory 2004 Florence campaign office.
"I've been involved in politics for 30 years, and I've never seen such energetic and enthusiastic volunteer support," Carey said Wednesday.
Northern Kentucky Republicans are also staking a claim to statewide power, said Boone County Judge-executive Gary Moore.
Moore was watching returns with other Republicans election night at the Airport Marriott hotel in Hebron. U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, a Southgate Republican, was trailing Democrat Dr. Dan Mongiardo by 40,000 votes at one point.
But that lead was nearly wiped out when results from Boone and Kenton counties were reported. With the boost, Bunning was able to eke out a victory.
"It was so pleasing that Boone and Kenton counties had a big part of that," Moore said.
Democrats were particularly upset with two losses:
Democrat Nick Clooney's defeat at the hands of Geoff Davis in the 4th District congressional race.
Democrat Kathy Groob's loss to Republican Sen. Jack Westwood in Kenton County's 23rd Senate District.
Steve Hoffman, a Kenton County Democratic Party leader, said Democrats are no longer expecting much good news on Election Day.
"It's not like we're not used to it," Hoffman said. "But we still don't like it."
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