- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015
McConnell: 2016 goal is to maintain, not grow, GOP majority

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) - Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the chances are “pretty slim” that Republicans will grow their majority in the U.S. Senate in 2016, saying his goal is to preserve the majority for what he hopes will be a Republican president.

“I don’t think we’re going to have a bigger number. We’re hoping not to have a smaller number,” the Senate majority leader told a Kentucky civic club.

McConnell said the reason is Republicans must defend 24 seats, compared to the Democrats’ 10. Plus, he said Republicans will have candidates in several states likely to be overshadowed by the presidential race, including New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Illinois. But he did say Republicans have a chance to gain ground in Nevada, where Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is not seeking re-election, and Colorado where Republicans will try to unseat one-term incumbent Michael Bennet in the same state where Republican Cory Gardner defeated incumbent Mark Udall in 2014.

“Regretfully we have an open seat in Florida because Sen. (Marco) Rubio is running for president and not running for senator at the same time,” McConnell told the Elizabethtown Rotary Club. “So we’ve got some challenges.”

McConnell’s fellow Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul is seeking re-election and the presidential nomination at the same time, thanks in part to McConnell’s help. McConnell has endorsed Paul’s candidacy and supported his effort to get around a provision in the Kentucky constitution that bans politicians from appearing on ballot twice in the same race.


Bevin, McConnell joint appearances will have to wait

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky Republicans waiting to see U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell put his arm around his political nemesis Matt Bevin will have to wait a little longer.

Bevin cancelled an appearance at the Elizabethtown Rotary Club on Tuesday where McConnell, the Senate majority leader, spoke. And McConnell has said he will not attend the state Republican Party’s Lincoln Day dinner on Saturday when Bevin will be the featured speaker.

The absences seem to highlight a tense relationship between the state’s senior senator and its likely Republican nominee for governor. Just last year, McConnell’s re-election campaign asked Kentucky’s Republican voters in a television ad: “how can you believe (Bevin) on anything?”

Bevin used his young daughter in a TV ad to say McConnell was spreading lies during the state’s Republican primary, which McConnell won handily.

Ben Hartman, Bevin’s campaign manager, said Bevin missed McConnell’s speech Tuesday because of a “scheduling conflict,” but added that he was looking forward Saturday’s event with McConnell.

McConnell told reporters in Elizabethtown he can’t make the dinner because he has to be in Washington to prepare for a rare Sunday session to try and avert the expiration of the Patriot Act, which fellow Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul vigorously opposes.


Overdose reversal kits being supplied to more Ky. hospitals

EDGEWOOD, Ky. (AP) - A hospital system on the front lines of treating heroin overdoses in hard-hit northern Kentucky will be supplied with hundreds of naloxone kits to send home with overdose patients in an effort to combat the deadly toll from the drug scourge.

An emergency nurse manager said Tuesday the overdose reversal kits will save lives and provide a starting point for conversations about treatment.

The St. Elizabeth Healthcare system will receive about 500 kits for its hospitals, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and first lady Jane Beshear announced. Northern Kentucky has been at the epicenter of the state’s struggles with heroin addiction.

Naloxone is available in injectable or nasal mist forms. The drug can quickly reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.

“This project will allow us to get this medicine into the hands and homes of the people who need it most - heroin users and their families,” said Conway, the state’s Democratic nominee for governor in this year’s election.

The rescue kits will be free to overdose patients discharged from the system’s hospitals.


Body of missing Kentucky 2-year-old found in well

GLASGOW, Ky. (AP) - Police say the body of a missing 2-year-old girl has been found inside a well in western Kentucky.

Kentucky State Police said the body of Laynee Wallace was discovered Monday near Glasgow. Police say Wallace was reported missing last week.

Authorities found the child’s body inside a well on property owned by her mother’s boyfriend, 25-year-old Anthony Barbour. According to state police, Barbour lived with the child’s mother and her daughter in his home near the Barren County and Monroe County line. Barbour was arrested Monday during a traffic stop.

Police said that in addition to a custodial interference warrant that was sought earlier, Barbour was charged with adult kidnapping, first-degree burglary and resisting arrest stemming from his apprehension on Monday.

An autopsy was performed, and results are pending.

It is unclear whether Barbour has a lawyer.

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