Republican Hunter Bates, a former chief of staff to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, confirmed this evening that he’s considering a bid for retiring Rep. Geoff Davis’ (R-Ky.) seat.
“The most important thing in my life is my wife and three children,” Bates wrote in an e-mail response to a Roll Call inquiry about his potential candidacy. “We will prayerfully consider whether this is the right moment to re-enter the political arena.”
Bates is the first candidate to publicly express interest in running for Davis’ seat following the four-term Congressman’s retirement announcement today. But Republicans expect a crowded and competitive primary for the likely GOP seat in northern Kentucky.
Bates briefly ran for lieutenant governor in 2003, but he withdrew from the GOP ticket after a judge ruled he did not meet the state’s residency requirement.
In his statement, Bates also hailed Davis.
“Geoff Davis is one of the finest men I have ever known, inside or outside of the nation’s Capital,” Bates said. “His intellect, experience and values cannot be replaced.”
Bluegrass State Republicans mentioned several other potential candidates in the wake of Davis’ announcement, including state Rep. Adam Koenig, state Sen. Damon Thayer, Campbell County businessman Kevin Sell, state Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington, state Senate President Pro Tem Katie Kratz Stine and conservative blogger Marcus Carey.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.