Several blogs are buzzing about Anne Northup and the old fifth district.
Everyone read Ryan Alessi’s article. Northup is a congressional loser. She will not refurbish the district’s luster.
Over the past few weeks a common theme has emerged in the Republican gubernatorial primary: the importance of the “old fifth” among the chattering class. Ryan Alessi recently reported that the area could no longer be considered the GOP’s Gibraltar; Bryan Mills has compared candidates’ attempts to woo this area to picking blackberries; and the KY Enquirer’s Pat Crowley wrote that Anne Northup’s pick of Jeff Hoover as her running mate was part of an effort to “corral the Old Fifth.” (Notice the capitalization in Crowley’s column.)
Despite its obvious importance, there’s the real possibility that there are a still a few readers who’re wondering whether this is some reference to a Masonic rite, a mysterious organization that stresses the number “5” as a part of its philosophy, or even an area similar to that facility in Nevada called “Area 51”, where Kentucky keeps aliens and spaceships. In fact, the Old Fifth is, perhaps unfortunately, nothing quite so mysterious or fascinating.
The last time voters in the “old fifth” had one of their own in Kentucky’s Governor’s office was 1931. That’s when Knox County pol Flem “Flam” Sampson was Governor. Sampson is best known for his efforts to create the Kentucky Colonel system and the Kentucky Progress Commission.
While there isn’t a candidate from the old fifth in the race this year, Jeff Hoover, who’s running for Lt. Governor under Anne Northup, would be a nice consolation prize for the region.
Jonathan really has the best coverage of this thing so far. These pieces primarily define the Old Fifth and explain Northup/Hoover's potential for influence in this important region.
Former Louisville Congresswoman Anne Northup is venturing far beyond the Gene Snyder Freeway … campaigning in what Louie Nunn used to call “the old Republican fifth.” That’s a reference to the once Republican majority district that was basically centered on Lake Cumberland. Redistricting after the 1990 census took the 5th east and turned it slightly Democratic in registration. But Southern Kentucky is still reliably Republican in its voting patterns and registration. Counties like Pulaski, Laurel, Whitley, Clay and Russell can quickly add up the GOP vote. Northup is introducing herself in those areas, accompanied by her running mate from Jamestown, House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover.