Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Big Steelman Funder Signs On With Long


One of Sarah Steelman's closest advisers and biggest fundraisers has signed on to help Billy Long's Congressional campaign, sending the clearest signal to date that the former state Treasurer won't run for the 7th District Congressional seat in 2010.

A closely connected GOP source told The Notebook that Jeff Layman has agreed to voluntarily help Long raise money beginning sometime next month, after the close of the third fundraising quarter of the year.

Long confirmed the Layman's support in an interview. "I think it's significant. We're thrilled to have him," he said.

The development is a political coup for Long, who is battling a crowded Republican primary field for money and resources. Layman's fundraising skills were sought by several of the top tier candidates.

The news also provides a sigh of relief for a slate of 7th District candidates who have been waiting for months for Steelman to make up her mind on a potential campaign. Layman is close personally and politically with both David and Sarah Steelman and would not sign on with another candidate if Steelman was poised to run.

"Jeff's one of the first people I talked to back in February and he wanted to meet with me about my philosophy and campaign themes, but I didn't want to push him because I knew he was close with Sarah," Long said.

Long said he last spoke with the Steelmans about a month ago, but neither mentioned politics. "We both talked about our kids," Long said.

The Notebook will have more on these developments tonight on Ky3 News @ 10.

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