Jack Richardson IV should be ashamed of himself
Lost in much of the hoopla over last week's political campaign filing deadlines (particularly Bruce Lunsford's entry into the Democratic Senate primary and Ron Lewis' exit from the Republican 2nd District Congressional primary) was the situation in Louisville's 3rd District GOP race.
Former Rep. Anne Northup decided to make a bid for her old seat after GOP candidate Erwin Roberts backed out, citing the impending call-up of his Army Reserve unit.
But prior to Northup's entry into the race, Louisvillian Chris Thieneman jumped into the fray. After Northup announced, Thieneman alleges, he got heavy pressure from operatives for Northup and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell to drop out of the race and yield the right-of-way to Annie-Come-Lately, who wasn't even going to attempt the race until Roberts withdrew.
While we're troubled by Thieneman's allegations, we're even more bothered by what Jefferson County Republican Chairman Jack Richardson IV had to say about the party's involvement in discouraging candidates to run for office.
About the only place this has received any coverage is in the left-wing blog PageOne Kentucky, which gave a good account of an on-air conversation Richardson had with Francene Cucinello on WHAS-AM.
Richardson's comments can only be interpreted one way: Rank-and-file Republican voters don't know what they are doing, and it's up to the party hierarchy to select candidates. GOP voters shouldn't have a full field of choices in a primary election; they should only be able to choose from the candidates preferred by the party's leaders.
Of course, Richardson has a track record of being full of himself. He took Greg Stumbo's side when the Democrats led an all-out assault against Ernie Fletcher, Kentucky's first Republican governor in three decades. Richardson never publicly sided with Fletcher, instead offering criticisms that sounded more like they might come out of the mouth of Stumbo or Ben Chandler than the Republican party chairman in the state's largest county.
Richardson is a disgrace to the Republican Party. Francene is right. Elections -- even primaries -- should be decided by We The People, not They The Party Officials. Besides, if Northup wanted to run for her old seat back, she could have announced her candidacy months ago instead of waiting until Roberts had withdrawn and Thieneman had stepped up. Perhaps if Northup had made her intentions known earlier, Thieneman would have never filed and none of this would have happened.
(While we're still very upset with Northup's treatment of Fletcher, we hope she wins her old seat back and kicks John Yarmuth out of Congress. She was a good representative and it's be great to have her back in Congress and Yarmuth out).
If you're a Republican in Jefferson County and you're angry and insulted about Richardson's shameful and disgusting statements and conduct, you can do something about it. This is the year that the party reorganizes on local, district and state levels. This spring, you will have the opportunity remove Richardson as county party chairman. It would be in the party's best interests to do just that.