Paul doesn’t want GOP opponent to oversee election

January 21, 2010 | | Comments 47
Rand Paul

Rand Paul

By ROGER ALFORD – Associated Press Writer

FRANKFORT — Republican Rand Paul doesn’t want his chief opponent in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race to oversee the vote count in the May primary election.

Paul, son of former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas, is running against the man who oversees elections in Kentucky, Secretary of State Trey Grayson. In a letter sent to Grayson’s Capitol office earlier this week, Paul asked Grayson to recuse himself from overseeing the Senate election.

“I really feel like if you’re in the election, you shouldn’t count the votes,” Paul told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “I think he shouldn’t have access to any computers counting or tabulating the votes.”

Grayson spokesman Les Fugate called the request absurd. Fugate said Grayson won’t recuse himself.

“It is an insult to the judgment of Kentuckians that Mr. Paul suggest Secretary Grayson stop doing the job that they elected him to do,” Fugate said. “Secretary Grayson is a national leader in elections reform who has received broad, bipartisan support for his commonsense ideas that make our elections more secure, more accessible, and more honest. This political request is absurd and blatantly self-serving.”

It’s an issue that crops up from time to time in 39 states where secretaries of state oversee elections, said Kay Stimson, spokeswoman for the National Association of Secretaries of State in Washington.

Under Kentucky law, Grayson, as secretary of state, also serves as chairman of the Kentucky Board of Elections.

“Because of this, it is clear that a conflict exists between your role as secretary of state and your role as candidate for office in this election,” Paul said in the letter dated Jan. 15 and obtained by the AP.

In the letter, Paul called for Grayson to “immediately step aside as the supervisor of this election and allow the appointment of a nonpartisan civil servant to handle this important task.”

The campaigns exchanged heated words over the issue.

Grayson campaign manager Nate Hodson called Paul’s charge desperate.

“It sounds ridiculous — like another cheap political stunt from a desperate candidate whose campaign continues to fall apart,” Hodson said.

Paul campaign manager David Adams accused the Grayson campaign of orchestrating a protest outside the secretary of state’s office the day Paul filed his candidacy papers.

“Given the dirty tricks that we’ve seen so far, we’re understandably concerned about having them count the votes in May,” Adams said. “I don’t think this is the end of this.”

Filed Under: ElectionsFederal GovernmentRand PaulState GovernmentUS Senate Race

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  1. daniel says:

    Is he serious? When did he discover this?
    Does he not understand the operation of government?

  2. Monty says:

    Trey really needs to find a new direction to his campaign and fast. I am puzzled by his choice of having a group of immature 20 year olds run a US Senate campaign. He has done a remarkable job as SoS but his campaign has been a giant puzzle so far.

  3. R Thompson says:

    ABSOLUTELY FAIR request.

    If Grayson actually thought it would be appropriate for him to be involved in the very process that would confirm his win/loss he is mistaken.

    This is exactly why politicians are losing all respect by those who elect them, because they want to think they are above approach or wrongdoing.

  4. Carl says:

    Paul is right, Grayson is not above pulling some dirty trick to rig the election in his favor. Grayson’s behavior suggests so far that he is not mature enough or honest enough to run for any office.

  5. Fedup2here says:

    Thanks to Grayson’s arrogant response I will now be voting for Rand Paul and will encourage all my friends to do the same. No more politics as usual from this voter will be tolerated.

  6. notjnewberry says:

    I can see both sides of the issue. Boy, it says a lot about our govt when we suspect and/or simply cannot trust the SOS to count the votes fairly.

    If you are conservative, please check out Bill Johnson He appears 9at least so far0 to be the real deal.

  7. Matt says:

    Paul is absolutely right. Greyson shouldn’t be responsible for counting the votes and overseeing the election of which he is a part of. Seems corrupt, I will definitely be voting for Rand Paul.

  8. John says:

    Once again Paul proves he’s an out of touch NUT supported by by crazy radicals.

  9. Mark says:

    I was very disappointed by Trey Grayson’s response to Rand Paul’s reasonable request. It makes sense that Secretary Grayson shouldn’t play any part in determining the results of his own election.

    After this, Rand Paul definitely has my support.

  10. Wes Stumbo says:

    Paul had my support prior to this and still has it. I agree, he should definitely recuse himself. In fact, it should be made into law. There should be a replacement pre-determined. Of course, in this political crony capitol it will be one of his supporters anyway.

  11. dirt dirt dirt says:

    How much did Paul pay people to post on this thread. Get over it. Grayson is the duly elected SOS. He does not control the ballot box or the computers that tally the votes. It is done on the county level and then the totals are computed. Explain to me just how he can manipulate the vote and then come back with your silly request.

  12. Areyouserious says:

    Dirt Dirt Dirt is right. Elections are certified at the county level. Shall all 120 counties recuse themselves too?

    Find some miniscule thing and exploit it. Are these guys reading Saul Alinsky?

  13. MILLHOUSE says:

    The right move would have been for Grayson to remove himself before Paul could make an issue of it. Look for more harsh comments from Grayson’s camp as the concern of losing to who they thought was a token candidate grows.

    Grayson shouldn’t have run for this seat in the first place. He needed to be Attorney General (a real Constitutional Office, unlike SOS) before he steped onto the national field. I will vote for Paul, but hope Grayson’s loss doesn’t damage him too much.

  14. Peter says:

    “Grayson shouldn’t have run for this seat in the first place. He needed to be Attorney General (a real Constitutional Office, unlike SOS) before he steped onto the national field.”

    MILLHOUSE, what did Rand Paul ever do besides have a famous career politician as a father?

  15. hailiebug says:

    I cannot blame Paul for not trusting his Republican opponent. Republicans have shown that they cannot be trusted. They talk one way to get elected and then vote the other. They manipulate the religous right to gain power but ridicule them in private. Republicans are and have always been big business corporate lackeys who talk up the common man and then vote against his interests.

  16. Ben says:

    Rand Paul’s request seems quite reasonable and fair to me personally.

  17. Matt says:

    I fail to see how this request is nutty or radical. He’s asking for an opponent to remove a conflict of interest. Sounds reasonable to me.

  18. Fedup2here says:

    Halliebug I believe that EVEN THE DEMOCRATS CAN’T BE TRUSTED and I’m a democrat. It doesn’t matter what political party is in office, they are both as corrupt as the other.

  19. Chris says:

    I personally believe that Grayson is capable of fairly overseeing the election. However, I think it would be better for him and everyone else if he did recuse himself from doing so. It would signal that he’s serious about the integrity of the election, regardless of the level he can truly affect it as the Secretary of State.

    The sad thing in this affair is the Grayson campaign’s response to the request. Instead of an evenhanded and reasoned response we get the blame game and signs of desperation. dirt dirt dirt’s response, minus the accusation of paid commenters supporting Paul, would have been far better and what I would have expected as a response. The way the campaign responded creates a worry where none existed before for me and likely for many others.

    The saddest thing is that I’ve encountered far more Grayson supports that act like kooks than Paul supporters (though they definitely exist.) They really don’t reflect well on our SOS.

  20. Amanda says:

    Absurd. Rand Paul almost had me as a credible candidate until now. I am very disappointed that he would reach as low as to attack Secretary Grayson’s character, honesty and ability. Very disappointing indeed.

  21. KY1911 says:

    Trey may be a lot of things, but he’s not a cheater. Paul makes himself look silly with such a request…

  22. UK96 says:

    Grayson, I don’t care if you are a saint. If you are in the race, recuse yourself.

  23. Joe LeDuc says:

    My wife and I are getting a divorce. I am a judge. I should be allowed to be the judge who oversees our divorce proceedings. For my wife to imply otherwise is to impugn my character.

  24. Bradman says:

    Candidate Paul does have a point. I can see both sides of this very easily. However I would also point out that this is also an issue in every county where the County Clerk serves as the chair of the County Board of Elections that count the votes on the local level. If Secretary of State Grayson is to step aside it should also be the policy of every County Clerk running for re-election this year as well.

  25. Skip says:

    It’s a little embarrasing to note that Mr. Paul obviously doesn’t seem to know how elections work in Kentucky. The County Clerks maintain the system and count votes, not the Secretary of State. Shouldn\’t someone running for the senate know this already?

    Given Mr. Paul’s previous statements it’s a ironic that he’s already seediing the idea of a ‘conspiracy’ against him.

  26. Wes says:

    Since the county clerks maintain the system and count votes, why does Grayson need to be involved anyway?
    I don’t believe Paul stated Grayson would cheat or anything similar. I don’t believe most lawyers believe a judge will cheat their client when they ask them to recuse themselves. It’s more a pre-emptive measure to avoid any conflict in the future regarding the outcome.

  27. Skip says:

    “I don’t believe Paul stated Grayson would cheat or anything similar.”


    That’s exactly what Paul is inferring with his call for Grayson to recuse himself. Please let me demonstrate- this is only a demonstration.

    ‘I think Rand Paul needs to stay away from little girls. I don’t believe I stated Paul was a pedophile or anything similar.’

    See my point? Paul is clearly implying Grayson is corrupt.


    For the record, I don’t think Paul needs to stay away from little girls.

  28. bigdog43 says:

    Mr. Paul,

    Just run the campaign, do not worry about Greyson, he will impload.

  29. Richard says:

    In every election I have participated in since elementary school the candidates never counted the votes.

    Seems to me that Grayson should have already recused himself.

  30. Carl says:

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the secretary of state, in this case Trey Grayson, certify the election and has the power to withhold the certification if he deems it necessary?

  31. ripsnortinroy says:

    With all due respect to those who work for the Secretary of State, Trey can recuse himself, just as any judge, who would also be elected “to do a job”, but not where there might be a conflict of interest. Is Trey the only one down there who can do this job? Hey, Trey, take a day. Off, that is.

  32. Joe Gresham says:

    Mr, Grayson, SHOULD want to avoid even the appearance of impropriety….remove ALL doubt of wrongdoing, but that would only be the case were he an honest man of integrity. Which he has shown himself NOT to be in the past,

  33. Joe Gresham says:

    Those who act “offended” by Dr. Paul’s request, amaze me. You don’t allow the fox to guard the hen house, boys and girls, this exceeds idiocy.

  34. Skip says:

    I’m not so much offended as I am shocked at how little the folks on here actually seem to know about how our state election system really works.

  35. Hank says:

    This is Grayson’s job just as it has always been the Secretary of States job. If he had announced he was stepping aside then all the Paul Fanatics would be ranting about him not doing is job. Never before has the Secretary of State stepped aside, but for Paul and his ill informed supporters, it’s just another non issue to harp on. Go back to Texas Paul.

  36. Buck Feshear says:

    Ditto what everyone says about how the election system works. Grayson’s role is miniscule. I am particularly disappointed in David Adams’ comments. He of all people should know better. I’m not for either candidate, Grayson or Paul, but I thought Adams was above such nonsense.

  37. Sue says:

    I think it is in the best interest for Trey to step aside and focus on the 2012 governor’s race. Regroup and focus on a position he is much more suited for.

  38. William Henry says:

    It seems maybe the rules should change for the Secretary when he decides to try for a new office. Everyone starts out good until they do something they never would have done, for power.
    Not saying he would, but who needs the asterisk?

  39. yeah right says:

    In this time of our History, I agree that if someone is on the Ballot running for office that they should not be involved in the counting and certification of the election they are a candidate in. I have little faith in the process as it is, and this would certainly concern me. I agree that an Independant Person without a horse in the race should do the job of counting and certifying the results of that race.

  40. dirt dirt dirt says:

    again the county clerk is the official not the SOS that certifies the results.

    If the SOS should be required to recuse himself why should the incumbent County Clerk not be required to recused aswell. The County Clerk is actualy responsable to oversee the balot box in a race the County Clerk is competing in.

    Get a life or join Coakely as a also ran. David you are ruining your credability fast.

  41. KeepitFair says:

    Absolutely, let Grayson oversee vote counting in his own election. Spendid idea!! Why not have Ashley Judd Ref the UK home games aswell!!

  42. graphic says:

    Tricky, tricky issue this is. You’d think Mr. Grayson would realize the possibility of major fallout AFTER the election, if any questions should arise. Many see this as a major conflict of interest. I left the Democratic party last year though, and intend to vote for Bill Johnson.

  43. Jack McCock says:

    Trey Grayson and Bill Johnson: Two Heads on the Same Snake.

  44. Aaron says:

    If so many people have the opinion that politicians are corrupt, as many reports constantly show (i.e. which is the most untrustworthy occupation in the country?), then why are people always so surprised when the same thing happens time and again.

    Either come to the conclusion that politicians are corrupt and nothing will change that, or have hope that some of them are there for the country, for the values this country was founded on and live your life.

  45. Bill Adkins says:

    See? Even Republicans don’t trust Republicans.

  46. Larry West says:

    Re: See? Even Republicans don’t trust Republicans.

    Remember that Trey Grayson started out as a Democrat. Perhaps Rand is not so sure that being a Democrat is completely gone out of his system. :^)

    If Grayson was smart, he would have stated the fact that the county clerks are in charge of counting the votes, he just combines them, and calling on the county clerks to verify that he is compiling them correctly. Saying that your opponent, who is currently ahead of you in the two latest polls, is “desperate” sounds pretty desperate and out-of-touch with reality itself and gives undue credence that Paul may be onto something. Grayson could have won this issue, but Nate Hudson’s actions precludes that.