"We've encouraged Betty's supporters to move on and support any candidate they like," Ireland spokeswoman Suzette Raines
told the Daily Mail
"I would expect that Betty Ireland would vote for Bill Maloney," Stuart said, when asked about Raines' comment.
Meanwhile, in Kentucky, at a Saturday unity event featuring state Senate President David Williams
and the two Republicans he defeated, businessman Phil Moffett
and Jefferson Co. Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw
, Moffett didn't speak even though a party spokesperson said on Friday that he would, according to the CNHI News Service
Moffett also said he hasn't endorsed Williams, and according to CNHI, he resisted the word endorse when asked by a reporter. But he nonetheless appeared on stage with the party's nominee and also expressed a preference for Williams over the Democratic incumbent, saying "I'd much rather have David Williams in office than Steve Beshear
In both cases the insider/outsider contrast is also clear: In West Virginia, Maloney, running as an outsider, defeated Ireland, the GOP establishment candidate, in a race that turned nasty toward the end. In Kentucky, Williams was the establishment choice, but survived a closer-than-expected contest against Moffett, who tried to appeal to Tea Party candidates.
Both GOP nominees are early underdogs in the general election.