News: Same Old in Northern Kentucky

Lucas/Davis race is a repeat from 2002

 
CityBeat Archive


Election 2006



When voters in Kentucky's 4th Congressional District head to the polls Tuesday, they'll decide on a rematch of the same candidates from four years ago.

Democratic challenger Ken Lucas is trying to return to the office he left in 2004. He hopes to unseat Republican incumbent Geoff Davis, and the hotly contested race has divided people across the district.

In 2002, Lucas beat Davis in a head-to-head contest for the seat. But Lucas decided to retire after three terms, instead endorsing TV host and newspaper columnist Nick Clooney to take his place in 2004. Rightly or wrongly, the GOP pegged Clooney as an out-of-touch liberal with Hollywood connections — thanks to his son, actor George Clooney, and his sister, the late singer Rosemary Clooney — and Davis easily won with more than 54 percent of the vote.

With the debate over the Iraq War giving Democrats their best chance in more than a decade at winning back control of Congress, Lucas is stepping once more into the political fray. Because the district has a history of voting for both parties, this year's highly competitive race has been closely watched by political observers and national media, including The Washington Post.

Echoing the theme of many Democratic congressional candidates this year, Lucas faults Davis for voting to support President Bush on issues 96 percent of the time during the current term. Davis replies that Lucas supported the Bush resolution that sought authority to invade Iraq, but Lucas said the president misled him and many Congress members with faulty intelligence data.

The Iraq War also has been a source of embarrassment for Davis. During a debate earlier this month, when Davis was asked how many U.S. soldiers were killed so far in October, he replied, "17." The actual amount at the time was 71, which Lucas and other Democrats say shows how disconnected many Republicans are with the war's realities.

Both candidates describe themselves as conservatives, and each opposes such hot button issues in the Bluegrass State as legalized abortion and gay marriage. Lucas and Davis also both oppose Social Security privatization.

Davis touts his expertise on national security, garnered as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Additionally, he notes that he has scored $1.6 million for a planning study to replace the Brent Spence Bridge. Lucas lacks a specific legislative agenda and did little to help the district while in office, according to Davis.

Lucas says the current Congress has passed little significant legislation, ignored pressing issues involving illegal immigration and needs to approve stricter ethics rules.

Lucas is a former member of Florence City Council and also served as a Boone County commissioner and Boone County judge-executive. A former Air Force pilot, Lucas and his wife, Mary, have five grown children and 11 grandchildren.

Davis is a former small business owner who ran a consulting firm that specialized in manufacturing and systems integration. An ex-Army Ranger and helicopter pilot, he and his wife, Pat, live in Hebron with their six children.

Kentucky's 4th Congressional District mostly follows along the Ohio River — spanning Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties along with 21 others — and includes various communities like Covington, Newport, Florence, Fort Thomas and Ashland. ©



For more election stories, visit

 
CityBeat Archive


Election 2006



When voters in Kentucky's 4th Congressional District head to the polls Tuesday, they'll decide on a rematch of the same candidates from four years ago.

Democratic challenger Ken Lucas is trying to return to the office he left in 2004. He hopes to unseat Republican incumbent Geoff Davis, and the hotly contested race has divided people across the district.

In 2002, Lucas beat Davis in a head-to-head contest for the seat. But Lucas decided to retire after three terms, instead endorsing TV host and newspaper columnist Nick Clooney to take his place in 2004. Rightly or wrongly, the GOP pegged Clooney as an out-of-touch liberal with Hollywood connections — thanks to his son, actor George Clooney, and his sister, the late singer Rosemary Clooney — and Davis easily won with more than 54 percent of the vote.

With the debate over the Iraq War giving Democrats their best chance in more than a decade at winning back control of Congress, Lucas is stepping once more into the political fray. Because the district has a history of voting for both parties, this year's highly competitive race has been closely watched by political observers and national media, including The Washington Post.

Echoing the theme of many Democratic congressional candidates this year, Lucas faults Davis for voting to support President Bush on issues 96 percent of the time during the current term. Davis replies that Lucas supported the Bush resolution that sought authority to invade Iraq, but Lucas said the president misled him and many Congress members with faulty intelligence data.

The Iraq War also has been a source of embarrassment for Davis. During a debate earlier this month, when Davis was asked how many U.S. soldiers were killed so far in October, he replied, "17." The actual amount at the time was 71, which Lucas and other Democrats say shows how disconnected many Republicans are with the war's realities.

Both candidates describe themselves as conservatives, and each opposes such hot button issues in the Bluegrass State as legalized abortion and gay marriage. Lucas and Davis also both oppose Social Security privatization.

Davis touts his expertise on national security, garnered as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Additionally, he notes that he has scored $1.6 million for a planning study to replace the Brent Spence Bridge. Lucas lacks a specific legislative agenda and did little to help the district while in office, according to Davis.

Lucas says the current Congress has passed little significant legislation, ignored pressing issues involving illegal immigration and needs to approve stricter ethics rules.

Lucas is a former member of Florence City Council and also served as a Boone County commissioner and Boone County judge-executive. A former Air Force pilot, Lucas and his wife, Mary, have five grown children and 11 grandchildren.

Davis is a former small business owner who ran a consulting firm that specialized in manufacturing and systems integration. An ex-Army Ranger and helicopter pilot, he and his wife, Pat, live in Hebron with their six children.

Kentucky's 4th Congressional District mostly follows along the Ohio River — spanning Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties along with 21 others — and includes various communities like Covington, Newport, Florence, Fort Thomas and Ashland. ©



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