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Carpetbagger Blues?

Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) former chief of staff, Hunter Bates, has hit a bump in the road in his campaign to become Kentucky’s lieutenant governor, leaving gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ernie Fletcher (R) without a running mate, at least for the moment. [IMGCAP(1)]

Oldham County Circuit Judge Paul Rosenblum ruled Wednesday that Bates’ name can’t be included on a May 20 primary ballot because he hasn’t resided in the Bluegrass State for the past six years, as is required by the Kentucky Constitution.

The 35-year-old Bates, a native of Whitley County, Ky., and his wife have lived for much of the past six years in a D.C. suburb. During a hearing last week, Bates characterized his Alexandria, Va., address as essentially a “mailing address” and contends that he always considered Kentucky his true home, according to The Associated Press.

Bates’ eligibility was challenged in court by a University of Louisville student and a running mate of another Republican running for governor, Steve Nunn.

Bates is expected to appeal the decision.

Statue Swap. The House approved Tuesday a June 4 ceremony to unveil a bronze statue of President Dwight Eisenhower on Capitol Hill.

The 8-foot-tall artwork, crafted in Kansas by sculptor Jim Brothers, will be the first to replace an existing sculpture in Statuary Hall.

A marble statue of former Kansas Gov. George Washington Glick, donated in 1914, will be returned to the Jayhawk State.

“While Governor Glick’s contributions to Kansas’ political development are notable, many Kansans have long wished for our statues to be replaced by individuals with whom visitors to the Capitol can more readily identify and that reflect Kansas’ contributions to the nation and world,” said Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), who led the replacement effort.

Congress approved the exchange following a 2000 rule change that allows states to swap their contributions to Statuary Hall.

Soldiers’ Narratives. The Library of Congress is hosting a briefing for staffers Friday on the progress of the Veterans History Project, created in October 2000 to collect first-hand accounts and documents from members of the armed forces.

Offices are encouraged to send a designated staffer to learn more about opportunities for Member-office participation. The briefing will be held in LJ-162 of the Thomas Jefferson Building at 9:30 a.m.

“At a time when United States troops are engaged in the protection of liberty abroad, it is important to remember the efforts of military veterans whose sacrifices have protected freedom throughout the course of American history,” House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) and ranking member John Larson (D-Conn.) said in a “Dear Colleague” letter this week.

— Amy Keller, Jennifer Yachnin and Suzanne Nelson

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