Sen. Rand Paul tours minority-owned business -- but stays mum on - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Sen. Rand Paul tours minority-owned business -- but stays mum on Presidential run

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- His presidential poll numbers are low, and he's not even the top choice of his party's nominee for Kentucky governor, but U.S. Senator Rand Paul refused to talk about that today on a visit to Louisville.

Sen. Paul toured America's Finest Filters, a successful minority-owned business in the Russell neighborhood at the corner of 29th Street and Jefferson Street. He often comes to west Louisville when he's in town, but this time he would not talk about his twin campaigns for President and Senate.

Owner Mike White says he welcomed Paul because of their common interest in criminal justice reform, including the restoration of rights to non-violent felons.

"I personally have a passion for working with felons," White said.

Eight of his nineteen employees have felony records.

"But the war on drugs, because it seems to be in the city where there's more crime, more black kids end end up going to jail," Paul said.

"Exactly," White said.

White, who also founded several addiction recovery programs, says he usually votes Democrat, but did not want to get caught up in the politics of Paul's visit.

"We're here to talk about helping felons and getting people back into society," White said. "My personal opinion about politics and about politicians is not what this visit is about."

But Paul is running both for president and for re-election to the Senate. 

His presidential campaign is struggling. In fact, earlier this week, Matt Bevin, the Republican nominee for governor, raised eyebrows when he endorsed Ben Carson over Paul.

"I think the world of Rand," Bevin said. "He's a friend of mine. He's been very gracious to me, and visa versa when he ran. But in terms of who I would select right now for the next president, he would not be the first choice that I would make."

But if that bothered Paul, he was not saying so today.

"Senator, what about Matt Bevin endorsing Ben Carson over you?" WDRB's Lawrence Smith asked. "Any thoughts on that?"

"I think we're going to try not to do political questions in here, because my goal was really to make this story about something good going on in the West End -- about what Michael White has been doing," Paul said. "And I think if we answer political questions in here, it will take away from basically the story that we're trying to promote is that there are good things going on in the West End."

Paul is scheduled to campaign with Matt Bevin tomorrow.

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