A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Election ’22: A look at the candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives facing off for election

By Jack Brammer
NKyTribune reporter

The campaign yard signs have been in place for weeks for maximum exposure, the positions on various issues have been aired and the candidates for U.S. Senate and Northern Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District are using the final days before Election Day to get out the vote.

The two races for jobs in Washington, D.C., have not gotten the widespread attention of some judicial races and constitutional amendments on the Kentucky ballot this fall but the challengers against the incumbents remain hopeful they will prevail though it appears to be a daunting task.

“It’s an uphill battle for the challengers to be even competitive, much less win,” said Ryan Salzman, Northern Kentucky University associate political science professor.

Charles Booker

In the U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Rand Paul of Bowling Green is facing former Democratic state Rep. Charles Booker of Louisville.

In the congressional race Republican incumbent Thomas Massie of Lewis County is being challenged by Democrat Matt Lehman, a Newport biotech executive. Ethan Osborne of Covington, a wildland firefighter and arborist, is running as an independent.

Here’s a closer look at the races and what the candidates are doing in the final days of the campaign.

U.S. Senate

Booker grew up in the West End of Louisville in one of the poorest zip codes in the nation. He has had to ration his insulin for his diabetes because of its high price.

The first in his family to graduate from law school, Booker worked as an administrative services director for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Booker was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2018. In 2020, Booker ran for the U.S. Senate in the Democratic primary and did well against eventual nominee Amy McGrath.

After that, he founded “Hood to the Holler,” a grassroots progressive organization.

He will be spending this final weekend of campaigning trying to get out the vote.

Rand Paul

He has scheduled an “Election Night Victory Party,” starting at 5 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville His special guests will be Nappy Roots, DJK-Dogg, DJ Kaost and more.

Paul, an ophthalmologist, is the son of former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate from Kentucky in 2010.
He leans libertarian and talks much about constitutional liberties and deficit spending.

Paul had campaign stops Friday in Whitley County,  Knox County, Russell County and Adair County.

On Monday, Paul is to conduct a state fly around for “victory rallies” with stops in Ashland with Massie, Erlanger, Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro, West Paducah and Bowling Green.

On Tuesday, Paul’s “Election Night Victory Party” will be held at the Bowling Green Country Club, starting at 5 p.m.

Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District

Massie, a former judge-executive of Lewis County, has represented the district since 2012. He calls himself the most conservative member of Congress. He has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

Thomas Massie

Massie usually gets 60 percent of the vote in his elections.  He said this year he may get 65.

The 4th Congressional District has been Republican for many years and is conservative. The last time a Democrat represented the district was Ken Lucas from 1998 to 2004. It has been in GOP hands for all but six years since 1967.

Massie said the No. 1 issue in the race is “trying to stop out-of-control inflation.” 

Massie, in a speech this week in Shelbyville, predicted that Republicans will take over the U.S. House this fall. He said he wants to stay on the House Judiciary Committee.

Besides running his own race, Massie has been helping other Republican candidates. He campaigned this week for state Rep. Joe Fischer in his bid to oust incumbent Michelle Keller from the Kentucky Supreme Court and Rand Paul in Ashland.

He said he has given $50,000 to various local candidates this fall “including coroners.”

Matt Lehman

Lehman has tried to paint Massie as an extremist who often embarrasses the district and who is incapable of working with fellow Republicans and Democrats.

He has submitted various op-ed pieces to area media.

Ten years of “Mr. No” is enough,” Lehman said on his campaign website.

“Northern Kentucky is a dynamic, diverse community that deserves responsible and productive representation in Congress.”

Lehman is a Northern Kentucky native, a graduate of Covington Catholic High School, and lives in Newport. He worked in the medical research field and helped found a healthcare company and served as its CEO until it was sold. He now consults with the healthcare industry, helping academic startups, and organizing clinical trials.

Lehman has been campaigning this week in Brooksville, Pleasureville, Florence and Newport.

Ethan Osborne

On Saturday, he will have a rally in Covington. His Election Night Party is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Mansion Hill Sanctuary in Newport.

Independent Osborne said he is “the working class everyman standing up against the machine of the two-party duopoly with nearly endless money and resources at their disposal.”

He pledged to give half of his congressional income to charities “considering congressional approval ratings are literally lower than cockroaches in popularity.” 

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment