Maddox gets the endorsement; Comer hints at new gubernatorial candidate
Members of the Kentucky congressional delegation made waves across the United States at Fancy Farm, the state’s first political speech and the unofficial start of the campaign.
One was official and the other implied.
Rep. Savannah Maddox, R-Dry Ridge, formalized an alliance with one of Kentucky’s top politicians on the Fancy Farm stage: She announced that Congressman Thomas Massie had endorsed her run for governor.
This made her the first GOP gubernatorial candidate to win the endorsement of the state delegation in Washington.
“With the endorsement, I feel like the Conservatives are going to rally around this campaign and send us to the top,” Maddox said. “Thomas has the most conservative voting record of any Kentucky congressman. He is a true Republican powerhouse in the Commonwealth and his ability to energize Tory voters, his own and that of Senator Paul, is emblematic.
Maddox added that she believes some of her contestants are “get along” moderates, as opposed to her brand of conservatism.
While Maddox formalized his endorsement, First Congressional District James Comer dropped a few bread crumbs about his political allegiance in 2023.
Comer focused his Fancy Farm speech on the waning influence of Democrats in Western Kentucky as well as his likely chairmanship of the House Oversight Committee, where he promised to investigate President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, for his alleged misdeeds.
But Comer, who narrowly lost to former Gov. Matt Bevin in the 2015 GOP gubernatorial primary, dropped a serious hint at a remarkable political alliance after the event, saying he would be “very involved in the race for governor.
“I believe there is a very incredible candidate that I am quite close to who is strongly considering entering the race in September. I’m going to withhold any endorsements until I see who’s in the field, but I believe you’re going to see some really strong candidates coming into the race,” Comer said.
When asked if that candidate was former US ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, Comer simply replied, “We’ll see.”
On the potential of Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, joining Craft as a candidate for lieutenant governor, Comer was also a mom but had high praise for Wise.
“Max is one of my closest political friends. In fact, he and his wife stayed with me and my wife in my cabin this weekend. I introduced Max to Kelly. It will be Kelly’s decision if she decides to run.
Craft’s chief of staff did not respond to an inquiry about Fancy Farm.
Often mentioned as a potential GOP candidate for governor since last year, when she was a keynote speaker at a GOP dinner over Fancy Farm weekend, Craft has ties to significant resources through the through her husband Joe Craft, a billionaire energy magnate from Kentucky. The couple made a major appearance on local television last week, hosting a telethon in support of eastern Kentucky flood relief efforts; they hosted him alongside the Kentucky men’s basketball team, for which Joe Craft is a top propeller.
Wise did not respond to the validity of the rumors about his intentions to race with Craft, but said he was “honoured” to be mentioned.
“Kelly Craft will be a very credible candidate in an already crowded Republican primary. I’m honored to even be mentioned as a running mate with her,” Wise said.
This story was originally published August 6, 2022 7:57 p.m.