The new leader of Kentucky’s Democratic Party believes avoiding a hotly-contested gubernatorial primary will benefit Democrats in November.
Patrick Hughes told WKU Public Radio Tuesday his party is rallying behind Attorney General Jack Conway, the only high-profile Democrat running to succeed Governor Steve Beshear. Hughes thinks Conway’s experience running for state-wide office gives him advantages over whoever wins the Republican primary in May.
“Jack is able to get the financial support necessary to run a statewide election, he’s able to get the political support to win a statewide election. So, if anything, those elections that he didn’t win only made him stronger because they built his network.”
Conway has served as Attorney General for two terms, and lost the 2010 U.S. Senate race to Rand Paul. He also ran unsuccessfully in 2002 against 3rd District Republican U.S. Rep. Anne Northup.
The only other Democrat on the primary ballot is retired state engineer Geoff Young.
Kentucky Democrats have largely rallied around Conway early, voicing their support for the AG at a unity event Monday in Frankfort. The Courier-Journal reports that Young was not invited to speak at the rally.
While Democrats have settled on their candidate to represent them at the top of the ballot this fall, Republicans have a primary field of four gubernatorial candidates: Agriculture Commissioner James Comer; former Louisville Metro councilman Hal Heiner; former state Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott; and Tea Party activist Matt Bevin.