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Two State Senate leaders offer thoughts on the U.S. Presidential race

Left to right standing-Damon Thayer and Reggie Thomas during the 2024 General Assembly Session
Stu Johnson
Left to right standing-Damon Thayer and Reggie Thomas during the 2024 General Assembly Session

The presidential election is attracting attention in a lot of ways and at many different levels. That certainly includes those serving in state government.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer predicts Donald Trump will make history by losing an election and come back and win a second non-consecutive term, like Grover Cleveland. He believes the Biden family will insist President Biden stay in the race. The GOP leader doesn’t look for a large number of voters passing on making a presidential choice.

“I think at the end of the day the election for president is so ingrained in the American psyche, the American culture that there will not be a large undervote,” said Thayer.

Thayer said it’s a little disappointing that out of 330 million people these are the best candidates adding they’ve clinched the nominations and, quote, “we have to live with that.”

Senate Minority Caucus Chair Reggie Thomas said Biden has two choices to stay in or release his delegates and have a brokered convention. The Lexington Democrat said questions about Biden’s competency began a decade ago, but have intensified the last two years. Thomas thinks a third party choice is a no go.

“Oh I don’t think a third-party ticket is viable. We’ve seen that tried decade after decade for several years in this country. It just hasn’t worked. It’s certainly not gonna work in 2024.”

Thomas predicts Donald Trump will carry Kentucky with 52 to 55% of the vote. Thayer suggests a Kentucky Trump victory with about 65% of the vote.

Thomas said 72% of the American people do question President Biden’s ability to lead the country for the next four years. While saying that can’t be ignored, Thomas noted former President Trump has many issues both in character and in policies.

Thayer said if Biden did drop out, any campaign money could only go to Vice President Kamala Harris whom Thayer says is less popular than Biden. The veteran republican lawmaker said even considering Trump’s personal characteristics, he does support most of his policies.

And one sidenote involving Kentucky politics. Damon Thayer has been mentioned as a candidate for governor in the next election. He said this week with the open seat in 2027, he’s interested in it, adding depending on who else runs.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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