Move over Justin Amash. There’s a new Republitarian firebrand in town.

Pending the results of the Kentucky Republican primary on Tuesday, May 22, there may very well be another Tea Party darling representing the Bluegrass State.

Thomas Massie, a husband, father, MIT graduate, and immensely popular Judge-Executive in Lewis County, KY launched his campaign back in January, after incumbent House Republican Geoff Davis announced his retirement.

Massie has been lauded as a “champion of the Constitution,” and an “intellectual Conservative.” Having earned two engineering degrees from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founding his own company, SensAble Technologies, Inc., creating jobs and obtaining 24 patents, Massie takes his problem solving mentality from a succesful run in the private sector to improving his local community in the public sector.

In 2010, Massie was one of the new leaders swept in office after the strong fiscal conservative movement known as the Tea Party caught fire in Kentucky. Using common sense solutions and a business practicality, Massie beat the odds in rural Lewis County and became Judge-Executive, which in Kentucky government, is head of the executive branch of county government and a member of the Fiscal Court, a type of county legislature. Massie came into office in typical Conservative fashion and took an axe to unnecessary and wasteful spending in the county budget. Within nine months, Massie had already cut enough waste to pay his salary as Judge-Executive for three years.

Now in 2012, Thomas Massie seeks to take his experience and tested Conservative principles to Washington D.C. In a time of record budget deficits and intrusive government, he finds himself to the right of most in the House. Massie supports a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and stands against what he calls “lunacy” of bailouts and “stimulus spending.” Massie is pro-life, pro-gun, and supports term limits for Congress.

Interesting Fact: While at MIT, one of Massie’s professors was none other than Keynesian-mouth breather, economist Paul Krugman.

Massie touts the support of libertarian hero Ron Paul and Kentucky’s junior Senator Rand Paul. Aside from the laundry list of local “big name” supporters, he has scored endorsements from issue oriented state groups, and has national establishment killers like Freedom Works and the Club for Growth throwing their weight behind him. Even still, Massie has another power punch in his bag of tricks: the well organized, and influential arm of the Ron Paul youth campaign, Young American’s for Liberty (YAL).

YAL Executive Director, Jeff Frazee, recently handed the Massie campaign a check from the organization’s PAC for over $14,000 and called for Ron Paul’s libery-loving youth army from across the country to focus on Kentucky’s fourth Congressional district.

According to Frazee, in an email to YAL’s legion of young libertarians, youth liberty activists have been hammering away at this particular race for the past few weeks and polls are showing a game-changing impact. He cites a inside poll stating that, as of May 17th, 64% of undecided voters are leaning toward Massie. Frazee attributes this to the diligence of YAL activists and other groups working hard to fill the void created by Ron Paul leaving the House after his term expires in 2013, and they think Massie is an appropriate replacement. YAL is bringing young volunteers in for the final weekend push of door to door stumping, and phone banking, and they are confident their efforts will pay off.

It’s going to be a close one though. Massie’s greatest political downfall may be his own home county. In Kentucky’s fourth house district, there are a couple of populous counties…and Lewis County is most definitely, not one of them. Even though there are seven candidates trying to outshine each other in the KY-04 race, polls have this thing virtually neck and neck between Tea Partier Massie, establishment pick, State Rep. Alicia Webb-Edgington and dark horse GOP candidate, Boone County KY Judge-Executive Gary Moore.

Both Webb-Edgington and Moore come from the voter rich counties in the district but their reach doesn’t go much further than that. Michael Baranowski, a political science professor at Northern Kentucky University, seems to think that with the amount of people in the race and with most of them from the more vote-rich half of the district a split vote could give the blue ribbon to Massie.

Kentucky’s Republican primary is on Tuesday, May 22 and all eyes are on the fourth district, as Conservative Republicans and Liberty minded Tea Partiers duke it out for the heart and soul of Northeastern Kentucky.

Can Ron Paul’s Youth Army and Freedom Works upset the establishment and put another mark in the win column with Thomas Massie?

Just like the Kentucky Derby, this one will be a photo finish.

Tanner Salyers | Pensacola Christian College | @TannerSalyers