James Gould, formerly of Morehead, has entered the 2016 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Rand Paul.
A graduate of Rowan County Senior High School and Morehead State University, the 47-year old financial analyst for ProActive Advisors in Lexington describes himself as a moderate conservative.
He says his campaign is largely focused on campaign finance reform, which he said is evident in his campaign.
Gould’s only other run for public office was for Morehead City Council when he was a 21-year-old student at MSU.
He said he spent only $20 on that campaign and is willing to use $10,000 of his own money for the Senate bid.
Gould said that if he wins the primary he would seek campaign donations but would limit those to $1,000 each and wouldn’t take money from special interest groups outside of Kentucky.
“We had Mitch McConnell and Alison Grimes in the most recent Senate race and between the two of them over 80 percent of their campaign money came from out of state,” he said. “Just on instinct when you see both of them taking the bulk of their money from out of state there seems to be something wrong with that and usually it’s special interest groups.”
Gould said that normally for every $1 million in contributions special interest groups expect $10 million of taxpayer money in return.
“So the damage can be very bad. One thing is whether you’re Tea Party, Bernie Sanders, or somewhere in between, I think we need to have lower budget campaigns. I’m doing that right now,” he added.
Gould commented on several key issues, including immigration, the military, and the drug epidemic in Kentucky.
He said that during his service in the U.S. Navy he lived in two Muslim countries
And although he agrees with some things presidential hopeful Donald Trump has said concerning immigration, he strongly disagrees with Trump on the idea of banning Muslim visitors to the U.S.
He also said cuts to the military have been too large and too fast.
“We’re cutting it too much, too quickly,” he said. “When we cut the military we see more crises elsewhere in the world. Those crises will cost our economy in some fashion. We need more troops on the ground. That’s not popular to some people but the problem is when we do gradual escalations like Obama’s doing now you give the enemy more time to adjust and alter their tactics.”
Gould said that battling the drug epidemic in Kentucky is not as simple as just arresting offenders or sending them to treatment.
He said that although that needs to happen to get addicts off the street he thinks that lack of economic opportunities in Kentucky will eventually send those individuals back to using and selling drugs.
Finally, Gould said that he would scrap the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, and added that his military experience will serve him well in addressing issues like national security, which he thinks has been one of Rand Paul’s biggest deficiencies as a senator.
Larry DeHart can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 784-4116.