Politics & Government

Got $1,000? That’s the cost to see Mike Pence raise money for Matt Bevin in Lexington.

Vice President Mike Pence is coming back to Kentucky next week, this time to raise money for Gov. Matt Bevin as he mounts his campaign for reelection.

Pence, who Bevin has described as his good friend, will come to the Aviation Museum of Kentucky in Lexington on March 8, according to an invitation to the event posted by Ken Kearns, the emeritus vice-chairman of the Fayette Republican Party. It costs $1,000 to get in the door and $2,000 to be a sponsor.

Kentucky is one of three states holding statewide elections in 2019, and Pence’s visit demonstrates the Trump Administration’s willingness to lend a hand to an unpopular governor who has been a consistent ally. The president’s popularity in Kentucky should benefit Bevin in the general election.

A February poll by SurveyUSA found that 54 percent of Kentucky voters disapprove of Bevin’s job performance as governor. Only 27 percent approved and 20 percent were not sure.

The Republican governor has dismissed the notion that he’s unpopular in the state, telling reporters in Washington “polls, schmolls” during an appearance at a Politico event in D.C.

“There has never been a poll ever taken ... done by anyone, including people who want to be supportive, that has ever found me above water or likely to win anything, ever,” Bevin said at the time. “I have never led in any poll or been popular in any survey that has ever been done.”

Bevin is raising money to fend off his primary opponent, state Rep. Robert Goforth, as well as three high-profile Democrats who have already made him the target of their campaigns: Attorney General Andy Beshear, House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins and former State Auditor Adam Edelen.

When making his pitch to the Kentucky Democratic Executive Committee, Beshear said the Democratic race was about defeating Bevin.

“We’ve gotta step back and look at this race as Democrats. It is more important than any of the individual candidates, it’s more important than me,” Beshear said. “We must beat Matt Bevin. This state cannot survive another four years of him.”

Members of the Trump Administration have been frequent visitors to Kentucky over President Donald Trump’s tenure in office. Along with a visit from Trump in Madison County, others who visited in 2018 include Ivanka Trump, Pence, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke made appearances in 2018.

Daniel Desrochers has been the political reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader since 2016. He previously worked for the Charleston Gazette-Mail in Charleston, West Virginia.
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