MURRAY - Texas Gov. Rick Perry drew cheers from a crowd of fellow Republicans during Saturday's Lincoln-Reagan Dinner, where he voiced his support of the Kentucky GOP's efforts to gain control of the House of Representatives and endorsed U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election.
The theme of the dinner, held on the campus of Murray State University, was "Flip the Kentucky House." The speakers, who also included McConnell and U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, stressed the importance of wresting control of the Kentucky House of Representatives from the Democrats in November.
"I love the number six," Perry told the audience. "(Former U.S. Senator) Sam Houston was 6 foot 6 inches tall, and Senator McConnell is going to be in his sixth term as United States senator. And we need six more Republicans in the House of Representatives."
In his 20-minute address, Perry also slammed the Obama administration and presented his home state, where Republicans control both the House and the Senate, as an example for Kentucky to follow. He said the Texas economy has proven successful because its Republican leadership has freed it from the burdens of "over-taxation, over-regulation, and over-litigation."
"If you want this state to be competitive, elect Republicans to the House and, in 2015, elect a governor who thinks the same way," Perry said.
The dinner was intended to help raise funds for the GOP's legislative candidates and boost candidates' confidence, Calloway County GOP Chairman Greg DeLancey said. McConnell and U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield spoke after Perry, and a number of GOP officials and candidates attended.
McConnell's Republican challenger, Matt Bevin, came to the dinner but was not allowed to speak. Sen. Rand Paul - who, like Perry is seen as a potential candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 - was invited, but did not attend.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.