Friday, February 01, 2008


Thieneman quits race, leaves GOP in anger, will back Yarmuth

By Joseph Gerth
The Courier-Journal

Angry at Republican leaders, Chris Thieneman said yesterday that he would end his campaign for Congress, quit the GOP, join the Democrats and support Rep. John Yarmuth in his bid for re-election.

The series of moves came exactly one week after Thieneman, a Jefferson County developer, filed to run for Yarmuth's 3rd District seat, buoyed by his successful campaign last November to kill a proposed library tax in Louisville.

Thieneman's main primary opponent was former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup, who is running to regain the 3rd District seat she lost to Yarmuth in 2006.

Since then Thieneman has accused GOP leaders -- including Northup, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Jefferson County Republican Chairman Jack Richardson -- of conspiring to get him out of the race to assure Northup of the nomination.

Thieneman made yesterday's announcements on WHAS radio. He acknowledged that his decision to leave the race and the GOP was "sour grapes against the establishment. I'll go back and fight my community fights. … I like that much better."

He did not respond to telephone or e-mail messages left for him later yesterday by The Courier-Journal.

McConnell, Northup and Richardson have all denied pressuring Thieneman to get out of the race.

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