Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Former Rand Paul Aide Getting Fundraising Help for Race

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Former Rand Paul Aide Getting Fundraising Help for Race

Article excerpt

FRANKFORT, Ky. - A former campaign aide to U.S. Sen. Rand Paul who resigned amid a controversy about a racial posting on his MySpace page is getting political support from his former boss, even though they parted company nearly three years ago. Republican Christopher Hightower, who is challenging Democratic state Rep. Martha Jane King for the 16th District state House seat, banked about $7,000 from a fundraiser headlined by Paul in August. He got an additional $1,000 from Paul's political action committee, Rand PAC.

Hightower said the contributions from Paul, plus another $2,000 from U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's Bluegrass Committee PAC, speak to his credibility as a candidate.

Hightower, 40, of Auburn, resigned as Paul's campaign coordinator in December 2009 during the primary race because of images someone posted on his MySpace page. Those images included a black-and-white photograph of a lynching that had been posted on the site by someone identified only as "D."

The racial tone of the post triggered a storm of criticism, leading to Hightower's resignation even though he adamantly denied any connection to the images. Paul said at the time he accepted Hightower's resignation because "it is impossible to present the ideas and reforms we need in this country with this controversy present."

When asked Thursday if voters should be concerned about the MySpace incident, Paul simply responded no.

Moderators have questioned Hightower about the controversy at political forums, but King hasn't made it a campaign issue.

"I don't feel like it's my job to tell anybody why he left Dr. Paul's campaign," King said. "So I have not gotten into his background and what he has done. My race is about what I have done."

A tea party candidate, Hightower said trying to paint him as a racist in the largely rural legislative district encompassing Logan and Todd counties is a tough sale. …

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