Former U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman is making sure Republican primary voters know he was “President Trump’s top cop,” but it’s his old boss and nemesis of the former president Mitch McConnell who is making an appearance at an upcoming fundraiser.
Coleman is currently the lone candidate in a wide-open field for Attorney General next year, and he’s trying to have the sharpest elbows possible to prevent others from entering the election.
The former Western Kentucky U.S. Attorney has announced he has already raised more than $200,000, he has a large list of current and former law enforcement endorsements, and also received the endorsement of five former chairs of the Republican Party of Kentucky. His next play to block potential challengers is tapping U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to help raise more cash.
A fundraiser held by state Sen. Julie Raque Adams on June 28, 2022, will include McConnell as a “special guest.”
The inclusion of McConnell is likely meant by Coleman’s campaign for a specific set of GOP donors, and not for mass voter consumption as he is playing up his connections to Trump with the former president still polling well in Kentucky.
However, the connection game is a tightrope walk for Coleman, who served as McConnell’s general counsel and has the Kentucky senator to thank for his appointment to the position of U.S. Attorney.
McConnell and Trump have a long-standing feud. Trump mocks McConnell calling the 79-year-old “Old Crow” as the Kentucky senator has sought to crush the Trump-wing of the GOP. Coleman has to both play up his Trump bonafide and turn to McConnell’s network for help in his race.
The race for Attorney General has not yet developed as current AG Daniel Cameron announced his run for governor in May, and other GOP contenders in the state so far have been scared off by the McConnell connection – it was McConnell who helped partially clear the GOP field of state Sen. Whitney Westerfield for Cameron in 2019. Westerfield has announced he will not be seeking the seat in 2023, but he has not endorsed Coleman either.
“I trust Kentucky voters will choose our next AG wisely,” Westerfield wrote last week.
Disclosure: The author of this report formerly worked under USA Coleman at the Western District of Kentucky U.S. Attorney’s Office from mid-2018 until January of 2021. Coleman has not contacted the author about his run for elected office.