Photos from the Lexington Herald-Leader archives updated daily

Mitch McConnell, 1978

Posted on February 24, 2017 | in Uncategorized | by

Then-Jefferson County Judge-Executive Mitch McConnell, at the Kentucky Federation of Republican Women’s meeting on Jan. 11, 1978, at Lexington’s Hilton Inn. McConnell, then 35, had defeated Democrat Todd Hollenbach two months earlier, becoming the highest-ranking Republican officeholder in the state. He told board members of the group that the way for Republicans to get elected in Kentucky was to start early, work hard and not emphasize party labels. A trend away from voting along party lines is good for the minority Republicans, he said, because “if they vote the party line, we lose.” … “The way to win … while maintaining the party base, is to have a good strong candidate who isn’t too strongly identified with the party.” McConnell offered to help other Republicans who wanted to run for office in the state. “A one-party state is not healthy,” he said. “We are not strong enough in Frankfort right now to be taken seriously, and that’s bad for the people.” Click here to see other photos from our archives of McConnell, now the U.S. Senate majority leader, who was recently back in Kentucky for several meetings with constituents. Photo by Frank Anderson | Staff

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