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Inside Politics

Davis rides Bush coattails to win seat

CNN projects GOP to pick up Kentucky's 4th District


story.clooney.davis.jpg
Nick Clooney, left, and Geoff Davis faced off for an open House seat in Kentucky.
SPECIAL REPORT
House: KY 04 Updated: 5:32 p.m. ET
Davis 54%
Clooney 44%
100% precincts reporting
Election Results Main Page

(CNN) -- CNN is projecting that Republican Geoff Davis will win his battle with Democrat Nick Clooney in the race for Kentucky's 4th District, which became available following the retirement of Rep. Ken Lucas.

Lucas, 70, retired in line with his promise to serve no more than three terms. He frequently crossed party lines to vote with Republicans despite being Kentucky's lone Democrat in Congress.

His retirement gave Republicans an opportunity to win his seat for the first time in 30 years and take complete control of the state's representatives in the House.

Lucas endorsed Democratic nominee Nick Clooney, a local celebrity who brought star power as the father of actor George Clooney and the brother of the late singer Rosemary Clooney.

Clooney is well-known as a reporter and news anchorman in the Cincinnati, Ohio, television market and from his local newspaper column. He's known nationally for hosting films on the American Movie Classics television channel and once substituted for Dick Clark on American Bandstand.

Geoff Davis, a small-business owner was the GOP nominee in 2002 and won 48 percent of the vote that year.

Davis worked as a janitor during high school to help pay the family's bills. He enlisted in the U.S. Army upon graduation and was later appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. He owns Republic Consulting, which he started in 1992. It specializes in helping manufacturing firms with technology systems integration.

While Clooney had some star-studded donations to his campaign -- contributors included actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, actor Warren Beatty and singer Nancy Sinatra -- Davis had an early lead in fund-raising, according Federal Election Commission reports. And Davis tried to use Clooney's son's support against him, frequently imploring supporters to help him "fight the deep pockets of the liberal Hollywood crowd."

While labeled a liberal, Clooney opposed abortion -- except in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother -- and opposed same-sex marriages.

The candidates did disagree on Iraq, with Davis saying Iraq was moving in the right direction, while Clooney called it a diversion from the war on terror and advocated turning over patrolling duties to the Iraqis.

Davis opposed gun-control laws and abortion, saying he is "100 percent pro-life."


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