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Richard Viguerie: Kentucky GOP Made a Big Mistake

Contact: Ryan Rogge, 703-396-6972; after 6 PM Eastern & on weekends, 703-674-6948

MANASSAS, Va., Nov. 8, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, issued the following statement regarding the results of gubernatorial election in Kentucky:

"Given Kentucky's economic problems, unemployment above 9%, a $160-plus million budget shortfall, which will grow to $200 million next year, and a scandal involving Democrats pressuring state employees for campaign donations, it should have been easy to defeat incumbent Democratic Governor Steve Beshear.

"The problem was, instead of nominating Tea Partier Phil Moffet to clean out the state government, Republicans nominated State Senate President David Williams -- the ultimate insider in the Kentucky Legislature.

"As leader of the State Senate, Williams should have been able to raise a lot of money, but he raised only $2.4 million, compared with Beshear's $9.1 million. He also took a beating for hypocrisy when it turned out his divorce papers revealed he had income and loses from gambling at the same time he was leading the charge against gambling in the Legislature.

"Williams didn't do himself any favors when, instead of going after Beshear where he is vulnerable, on jobs and the economy, he tried to play to religious bigotry by criticizing Beshear for participating in a Hindu good luck ceremony at a new Indian-owned factory. With over 9% unemployment, Kentuckians were unlikely to respond to criticism of the religion of a new employer.

"Going into the final days of the campaign, Louisville.com reported on a SurveyUSA poll showing 30% of Republicans and 40% of conservatives planned to vote for Beshear. Even 21% of voters who identify with the Tea Party were for Beshear. Pro-life voters said they would vote for Beshear over Williams 43% to 41%, and 47% of gun owners said they would support Beshear, to only 35% for Williams' 35%.

"When Republicans handed the gubernatorial nomination to insider Williams over Tea Partier Moffet, Republicans missed their best chance to clean house in the Bluegrass State. You can't convince voters you represent change with the state's ultimate insider as your candidate."

NOTE TO EDITORS: Richard A. Viguerie pioneered political direct mail and has been called "one of the creators of the modern conservative movement" (The Nation) and one of the "conservatives of the century" (Washington Times). He is the author of Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause.