(CNN) - The founder of the socially conservative Focus on the Family organization is weighing in on the divisive Republican Senate primary battle in Kentucky.
James Dobson Monday endorsed Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who's fighting Rand Paul for their party's nomination.
"Trey Grayson is the only candidate with the conviction to lead on the issues that matter to Kentucky families," Dobson says in a statement released by the Grayson campaign. "His unwavering commitment to the sanctity of human life and the family resonates with me. I know that he will be a leader on these issues, not just another Senator who checks the box."
The release notes that Dobson, who no longer heads Focus on the Family, is making the endorsement as a private individual.
(CNN) - Rudy Giuliani is taking sides in the contentious Republican Senate primary battle in Kentucky.
The former New York City mayor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate announced Monday that he is endorsing Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, according to the Grayson campaign.
Grayson is involved in a pitched battle with Rand Paul, a physician and the son of former GOP presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, for their party's nomination.
Both are trying to succeed Sen. Jim Bunning, the Republican lawmaker who announced last summer that he would not run for a third term. National GOP leaders rallied around Grayson at the time, but Paul, a favorite with conservatives and with many in the Tea Party movement, has picked up steam and some polls indicate that he leads Grayson in the GOP primary matchup.
"Trey Grayson is the candidate in this race who will make the right decisions necessary to keep America safe and prevent more attacks on our homeland," Giuliani said in a statement. "He is not part of the 'blame America first' crowd that wants to bestow the rights of U.S. citizens on terrorists and point fingers at America for somehow causing 9/11."
Washington (CNN) - On the same day Sarah Palin rallied cheering Tea Party crowds in Boston, she was also causing a stir hundreds of miles away - in Kentucky.
At issue is a contentious Kentucky Senate primary battle that pits Secretary of State Trey Grayson against Rand Paul, a physician and the son of former GOP presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
Palin has already weighed in on the race, endorsing Paul and donating money to his campaign.
But Grayson apparently doesn't think the endorsement counts for much: On Wednesday, Grayson said the former Alaska governor is not qualified to be president.
Washington (CNN) – Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul got an endorsement Wednesday from the man he is hoping to replace: Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky.
"I know what it takes to stand up for the conservative principles that are needed to make America a better place for our children and grandchildren," Bunning said in a statement. "Dr. Paul shares those same core values and has the courage and conviction necessary to make sure the voices of Kentucky's workers, families, retirees, and children are heard in Washington."
In a swipe at Paul's Republican primary opponent, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, Bunning said Paul is the only conservative running in Kentucky who will take a principled stand against "the liberals and establishment politicians that run Washington" and "who believes in traditional values and the rights of the unborn."
Washington (CNN) - With just six weeks remaining until the Kentucky Senatorial primary, the two front-runners for the Republican nomination are locked in a war of words over the most sensitive of topics: 9/11.
Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson released an ad over the weekend in which the narrator accuses opponent Rand Paul, a physician and son of former GOP presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, of dodging debates in order to hide "his strange ideas."
The ad hits Paul over his opposition to the Patriot Act, before switching topics to 9/11.
"Paul even wonders whether 9/11 was our [America's] fault," the narrator says.
The ad then shows a clip of Paul discussing foreign policy in 2009. "Maybe some of the bad things that happen are a reaction to our presence in some of these countries," Paul says.
(CNN) - Sen. Jim Bunning's decision to block a bill extending unemployment benefits has become a political lightning rod among the four major candidates who are seeking to fill the outgoing Kentucky Republican's Senate seat.
Jack Conway and Daniel Mongiardo, the two Democrats vying for their party's nomination to replace Bunning, have condemned Bunning's actions as they seek to resonate with the 120,000 Kentuckians who currently receive unemployment benefits. Conway, the state's attorney general, has called Bunning's block "outrageous" and posted a petition to register disapproval with the move on his Web site.
Mongiardo - the current lieutenant governor - is going one step further, holding rallies Tuesday outside of Bunning's offices in Louisville and Lexington. Kim Geveden, Mongiardo's communications director, told CNN the campaign had invited Conway to attend the rallies, though Conway declined. Conway is currently in Washington, DC for official business, according to a spokeswoman.
It's a different story on the Republican side, where the two candidates battling for the party's Senate nomination are heralding Bunning's move as a prudent act of conservatism. Rand Paul, a doctor and son of Texas Rep. Ron Paul called attacks on Bunning "unfair" and is holding his own rally in support of Bunning in front of the senator's Lexington office at 3 p.m. ET. Trey Grayson, Kentucky's secretary of state, who's battling Paul, has also applauded Bunning's move.
Video of protesters in Louisville, Kentucky after the jump: