FRANKFORT — Despite praising the role of competitive primary elections in the past, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul on Friday endorsed U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie for re-election in Kentucky's 4th Congressional District.
Massie, Kentucky's most ardent Tea Party member, has come under fire recently in his Northern Kentucky district as Steve Stevens, president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber, said late last month that he is considering challenging Massie in a Republican primary.
Massie is a staunch ally of Paul's, and the senator said in a statement Friday that the freshman congressman "is one of the most principled conservatives in the United States Congress."
"Over the past year, Thomas has always stood with me in defending the principles of our Constitution, fighting to keep our taxes low and giving the people of Kentucky a voice in Washington," Paul said. "Today I am proud to endorse and stand with Thomas as he seeks another term in Congress. Kentucky and our nation need a strong constitutional conservative, and Thomas has proven to be just that."
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Paul, R-Bowling Green, has generally been loath to get involved in state Republican primaries. In November, when Louisville businessman Matt Bevin filed to run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the 2014 GOP primary, Paul applauded the role of primary elections even though he had previously endorsed McConnell.
"I think these primaries are good for us," Paul said. "They make us all better."
In 2010, McConnell threw his support behind Paul's 2010 primary opponent, former Secretary of State Trey Grayson.