Paul defeats Conway, elected to U.S. Senate

Rand Paul declares his victory for Kentucky’s open U.S. Senate seat during his election party at the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green.

The atmosphere was “dynamite” as Robert and Duncan Paul played AC/DC’s “T.N.T.” to celebrate their father’s victory in the race for Kentucky’s open U.S. Senate seat.

Tea Party candidate Rand Paul beat Democratic opponent and current Attorney General Jack Conway with about 61.5 percent of the vote.

Paul was met with a roar of applause when he arrived on stage to a claim his victory.

“I have a message, a message from the people of Kentucky,” he said. “We have come to take our government back.”

He spoke about his future plans and shared his ideas with the crowd.

“Thomas Jefferson said, ‘A government is best when it governs the least,’” he said. “And I say freedom is best when enjoyed by the most.”

Paul concluded his speech and then ran through the crowd as they chanted his name.

In Louisville, Jack Conway conceded at his election party at the downtown Marriott hotel.

Conway, who seemed on the edge of tears at times during his concession speech, was quick to congratulate Paul on his victory.

“We ought to wish him well as he tries to do right by our state,” Conway said.

Allison Haley, Conway’s press secretary, also expressed optimism for the future.

“We’re really proud of Jack,” Haley said. “He fought a great race, and we still believe he’ll do great things in the future.”

Conway said he thinks a big factor in the loss was more money from corporations going to Paul.

“One of the reasons we lost was because we were outspent by outside money five to one,” he said.

Both candidates had a loyal group of supporters at their election parties.

When Conway walked up to give his election speech, the crowd chanted, “We want Jack.”

Louisville resident Brent McKim, Jefferson County Teachers Association president, did extensive campaigning for Conway through the group.

“Clearly we’re disappointed in the announcement… We’re going to continue to be engaged, though,” he said.

Barbra and Landon Taylor said they drove about 80 miles from their home in Campbellsville to be at the party.

They said before results came in that they expected to see a win.

“I am feeling good about this,” said Landon Taylor as he watched one of the television screens. “Maybe (the Tea Party) can take back a few more states tonight.”

Both said they’re unemployed because government fee regulations are too high.

“We are people who would work if the government would stop putting so many things in our way,” Barbara Taylor said.

Nicole Kardell, a Rand Paul supporter, said she supported Paul just as she supported his father.

She said she was excited about Paul’s win and impressed with the quality of his speech.

“He really discussed what he wanted to do instead of playing up with the emotion,” she said. “It was refreshing.”

Rand Paul’s father, Ron Paul, who also won his reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas’ 14 district, said expressed support for his son via Skype.

He said he was proud of his son, but he knew the hardest part of his son’s political career was about to come.

“Even with this grand night of victory, this is just the beginning,” he said. “The test will come later.”

Conway still expressed optimism for the future of his political career.

“… Though we lost tonight, we’re going to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and keep fighting for our causes,” he said.