State GOP takes blame for King ad

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Ad claimed state rep hopeful has NRA endorsement

By Ben Carlson

The political director for the state’s Republican Party is taking the blame for false information that appeared in an advertisement for state representative hopeful Kim King.

The ad, which ran in last week’s edition of The Anderson News and other newspapers in the 55th House District, claimed that King received an endorsement from the National Rifle Association.

That endorsement, however, went to incumbent state Rep. Kent Stevens, (D-Lawrenceburg).

“I’m taking complete responsibility,” said Andi Johnson, who added that the state Republican Party designed the ad and sent it directly to area newspapers. “This was just a miscommunication of the wording.”

The National Rifle Association, which asks candidates for public office to complete a survey before rendering a decision, confirmed that Stevens received its endorsement.

“He has our endorsement,” said Rachel Parsons, a spokesperson for the NRA.

King received an AQ rating, which Parsons explained means that the NRA approved of the way she answered the questions.

“An AQ means she answered the questions well but has no public voting record,” Parson said.

King called the issue a “typographical error” and said she never intended to mislead voters.

“I never saw it, not until it ran,” King said. “It went from the ad agency right to the newspaper offices.”

“Oh my goodness, no,” she said. “I’m so proud of my AQ rating that I had no reason to change the wording. I don’t see the benefit of one over the other.”

The ad, which featured a large photo of King and spelled out aspects of her conservative approach to government, includes information that King paid for the ad.

She said Monday afternoon that a time crunch in getting the ad to area newspapers is likely why the mistake happened.

Stevens said the ad prompted people in Anderson and Mercer counties to question him about why he didn’t receive the endorsement.

“I’ve had two people tell me how they feel about the NRA and questioned me about why my opponent had been endorsed,” Stevens said. “I value very deeply that endorsement because the NRA is an organization I’m very proud to be endorsed by.”

News of the ad was not contained to Lawrenceburg or the 55th District, including a statement issued by state Rep. Bob Damron of Nicholasville.

“I would like to express my dismay that Kim King has seen fit to spread misinformation regarding her endorsement by the National Rifle Association,” Damron said in a statement. “She erroneously claims that she has received this endorsement, while in fact it is not true.

“As a lifetime member of the NRA, I understand the importance of their endorsements and the process through which they makes these decisions.  Their choices are not made lightly and involve serious consideration of a candidate’s record and responses to a survey.”