WKU Public Radio News Staff
Wed October 30, 2013
Conway: Decision on Governor's Race Will Be Made by Spring
Kentucky's Attorney General continues to say he's strongly considering a run for governor.
Democrat Jack Conway was in south-central Kentucky Wednesday, addressing students and civic groups about issues including the state's prescription drug abuse problems.
After a speech to the Noon Rotary Club in Bowling Green, Conway told reporters there are other races that deserve the spotlight ahead of the 2015 gubernatorial election.
"With the Alison Lundergan Grimes campaign underway, they deserve a few quarters under their belt before a governor's race lands on top of them," Conway said. "But I would think that by the spring of next year, whoever's running for governor ought to be starting a fundraising operation to put together the resources necessary."
Grimes is challenging Republican Senator Mitch McConnell in next year's much-talked-about Kentucky Senate race. Conway told his Bowling Green audience that coal will continue to be an important source of energy for the region, and that the state must continue to step up its fight against prescription pill abuse.
A State Filled with Pills
Conway said while progress is being made against prescription drug abuse, the state can't afford to let down its guard. The Attorney General pointed to the state's pill-tracking system--known as KASPER--as an indication of how widespread the problem has become.
"Last year in Kentucky we dispensed over 220,000,000 doses of hydrocodone. We're a state of 4.3 million people. That's 51 doses of hydrocodone for every man, woman and child in this state. That's how much of the stuff is out there."
Conway adds the problem is even worse than those numbers indicate, since law enforcement officials believe only half of all prescription drugs in the state are tracked through KASPER, with the other half brought into the state illegally.