Thayer for Senate 17

Sen. Damon Thayer is trying to gain the Republican nomination to serve a third term representing the 17th district, which comprises Scott, Owen, Grant and part of Kenton counties.

We think Thayer deserves a vote of confidence from his party. He has far out-raised his opponent, Rick Hostetler, and seems likely to win the nod to be the standard-bearer for his party in the fall.

Thayer, of Georgetown, played a prominent role in this spring's legislative session as sponsor of a proposal to place a constitutional amendment to allow casino gambling before voters.

That effort failed, but Thayer, who throughout his professional career has been associated with the equine industry, gets marks for leadership and independence for attempting to get this long-debated topic before voters despite opposition from within his own party.

We have been impressed by Thayer's efforts in other areas, including pension reform, restricting race day medications for horses and greater transparency and timeliness in campaign finance reporting.

His interest in transparency, though, did not extend to revealing the names of clients of his racing consulting business and whether they stood to benefit from the casino gambling he was advocating. It's information the public had a right to know considering the extraordinary financial windfall for some if a casino measure did pass. Although he did eventually release the information, Thayer's initial response to the question was not reassuring.

Hostetler, a Scott County farmer and electrical contractor, is making his first run for office. He is a member of the Scott County Republican executive committee and the Tea Party. He did not respond to an invitation to meet with the Herald-Leader editorial board.

The winner will face Democrat David Holcomb of Georgetown in November.