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Rand Paul To Skip GOP Convention, McConnell, State Senator Alvarado Will Speak

Associated Press

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will attend and speak at next week's Republican National Convention but his colleague apparently will not.  U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says he's skipping the event.

The ophthalmologist and former presidential candidate is running for re-election in Kentucky. He is scheduled to perform pro bono eye surgeries in Paducah on Tuesday and has scheduled a number of town hall events throughout Kentucky on Wednesday.

Paul was one of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's harshest critics on the campaign trail, once referring to him as an "orange faced windbag."

But since ending his presidential campaign, Paul has repeatedly said he will support Trump's candidacy for president. The two men both spoke to the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Louisville in May.

Paul faces Democrat Jim Gray in the November election. Gray is the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky's second-largest city.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already been announced as a speaker at the convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Republican Party of Kentucky on Thursday said state Sen. Ralph Alvarado has been invited to speak at the GOP Convention.

In a news release, the party says Alvarado is scheduled to speak at 9 p.m. Wednesday. In 2014, Alvarado became the first Hispanic elected to the state Senate.

Alvarado said he will speak about how he believes "the Republican Party is the party of opportunity for voters of all backgrounds, especially Hispanics." Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been criticized in the Latino community for his stance on immigration.

Alvarado, a medical doctor, is the vice chairman of the Health and Welfare Committee in Kentucky's state Senate. Last year, the national Republican recruiting organization GOPAC named him an emerging leader.