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GOP primaries in Kentucky's 4th and Arkansas's 4th Districts Tuesday draw the involvement of national political figures, pit establishment and outsider candidates against each other.

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Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee step into House primary battles

GOP primaries in Kentucky’s 4th and Arkansas’s 4th Districts Tuesday draw the involvement of national political figures, pit establishment and outsider candidates against each other.

There are two Republican primaries for Congress on Tuesday that are sure to draw national attention, in large part because they involve supporters of candidates who are national political figures.  So, whatever the outcomes in the GOP contests to nominate candidates for open House seats in Kentucky’s 4th District and Arkansas’s 4th District, watch for the punditocracy to interpret how they were affected by Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee respectively.

In Kentucky’s 4th District, which has been Republican for all but eight years since 1962, a classic clash between the “outsider” and “insider” is in store for the seat Rep. Geoff Davis is relinquishing.  The establishment candidate is State Rep. Alicia Webb-Edgington, while the “outsider” is Thomas Massie, an MIT graduate and executive judge from Northern Kentucky.

Sen. Rand Paul has strongly endorsed Massie, who was hailed in Reason Magazine as “the next Rand Paul.”  Whether it is abolishing the Department of Education or ending farm subsidies, Massie takes as solid a libertarian line as Paul and his father Ron. 

With the retirement of veteran Democratic Rep. Mike Ross, it has long been taken for granted that the last of Arkansas’s four U.S. House districts in Democratic hands would be picked up by the GOP.  Former Miss Arkansas Beth Anne Rankin, a protégé of and onetime aide to former Gov. Huckabee, gave Ross a tough race in 2010 and is trying again.  This time, however, Rankin faces a primary foe right out of the movies: Tom Cotton, Harvard Law School graduate with tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq under his belt.

Rankin and Cotton would more than likely vote the same solidly conservative line in Congress.  But the nature of their support is different.  Where Rankin is backed by most state and national pro-family groups, Cotton is supported by the Club for Growth and the Tea Party Express.

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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