Politics & Government

Candidate drops out of race to replace state Sen. Vernie McGaha

One of the four candidates seeking the Republican nomination in south-central Kentucky's 15th District Senate race has dropped out and endorsed another contender.

Todd Hoskins, an insurance agent in Casey County, told the Herald-Leader Tuesday he is supporting Mark Polston, an attorney and businessman in Pulaski County.

The other two candidates in the race are Chris Girdler, an aide to longtime U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers, and A.C. Donahue, an attorney. Girdler and Donahue are from Somerset.

No Democrat filed to run for the seat, which is being vacated by Sen. Vernie McGaha, R-Russell Springs.

Hoskins said in a news release it appeared he and Polston would split the vote of a similar constituency while the "political bosses" in Pulaski County put their money behind Girdler.

"I realize that the only way to prevent big money from buying this race is to join forces with Mark," Hoskins said in the release.

Girdler had collected more than $140,000 in contributions — including $50,000 he loaned the campaign — as of April 20, the most recent reporting deadline.

The other candidates had raised less than $25,000 combined by that point.