Kentucky Senate candidates to debate in Louisville this weekend

Jacob Ryan

The 2010 Kentucky Senate race is beginning to heat up as the November election draws near and candidates prepare for a debate on Fox News this Sunday.

A Rasmussen poll released yesterday revealed that Republican and Tea Party favorite, Rand Paul, has an 11-point lead over Democrat Jack Conway.

Election day is Nov. 2 and the upcoming debate is the first of five.

Conway and Paul will also be debating in Covington on Oct. 11, Paducah on Oct. 14, Louisville on Oct. 17 and Lexington on Oct. 25.

Paul, a Texas native, lives in Bowling Green with his wife, Kelley and three sons.

He is a practicing ophthalmologist and has been performing eye surgery for 17 years.

Paul has an undergraduate degree from Baylor University and attended medical school at Duke University.

Paul’s campaign web site,, states that Paul is not a career politician and his

interest in politics stems from “a desire to diagnose problems and provide practical solutions.”

Conway, a Kentucky native, is married to Elizabeth Conway and has a daughter, Eva.

He was elected Attorney General in 2007 and still currently holds that position.

Conway also served on Paul Patton’s administration from 1996 to 2001.

He has an undergraduate degree from Duke University and a law degree from George Washington University.

Louisville sophomore Katie Basham said a debate is a great way to compare candidate’s ideals.

“There is no better way to shed the light onto the true person than a debate,” she said. “Debates can help voters see the candidate for what they believe in and how they truly differ.”

The difference between the two candidates is what makes the race interesting, Burcham said.

Paul’s website states that the ophthalmologist believes the primary constitutional function of the federal government is to protect the country and its citizens from any foreign threat.

He has even supported an idea to place a moratorium on visas issued to people from countries who pose a threat to the U.S.

He supports a secure border complete with electric fence and helicopter stations for fast response in order to keep taxpayers from supporting the lifestyles of illegal immigrants.

Paul opposes the federal regulation of health-care, on his web site, he said over-regulation was a problem and “as Senator, I would ensure that real free market principles are applied to fix this problem.”

Kentucky is a leading state in coal production and Paul has taken a stand against the federal government’s regulation of companies that work to develop new sources of energy.

“Companies have become more concerned with hiring lobbyists than they have with hiring scientists and engineers,” according to the website. “Our energy crisis today stems from too much government intervention and the solution is to allow real competition in the energy industry, not political favoritism.”

Paul is against abortion, saying that life begins at conception and it is “the duty of the government to protect this life.”

Conway’s campaign has been focused on the creation of jobs, cutting the deficit and restoring accountability in the government and on Wall Street.

The Attorney General plans to create tax credits and be generous with small business loans, in order to

create an estimated 5,000 jobs in the state, according to Conway’s website,

Conway said he could save $430 billion in the next 10 years by allowing Medicare to buy prescription drugs in bulk, which would create discounted prices, and by reducing waste, fraud and abuse within Medicare.

Conway is also in favor of shutting down offshore tax shelters, which would discourage investors from being interested in foreign companies.

Paul and Conway both agree that big-bank bailouts were a mistake.

“Washington wrote a blank check for big banks on Wall Street and Jack thinks that should never happen again,” according to Conway’s web site.

Paul has the same view, his web site states the bailouts were a “transfer of wealth from those who have earned to those who have squandered.”

The Oct. 3 debate will air live on Fox News Sunday at 9 a.m. from Louisville.