Jonathan Meador's report on Tuesday's announcement by Jack Conway
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway officially announced in a video press release on Tuesday his candidacy for governor, adding that he has tapped House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, as his running mate.
“Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and continue to move Kentucky forward, and we begin doing that by building a great team. The strength of this gubernatorial ticket is bolstered by Rep. Sannie Overly’s record of accomplishments.”
Conway has served as the state’s Attorney General since 2008. Overly, a Democrat from Paris, was first elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2008, and in 2013 became the first woman in state history to be elected Caucus Chair by House Democrats.
“As governor, Jack will fight for better jobs, to fix our schools, and to help our families confront the economic struggles they face every day,” Overly said in a statement. “Jack has refused to back down from the toughest fights and he has won. Together, we will work hard to build Kentucky’s future.”
Conway is the first Democrat to announce his candidacy in the 2015 gubernatorial election; former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner, a Republican, threw his hat into the ring earlier this year. Former Lexington urban-county council member K.C. Crosbie is Heiner's running mate.
A prominent Republican says former Louisville councilman Hal Heiner will kick off his campaign for Governor Tuesday in Lexington, joining with another urban Republican for his running mate.
Former state GOP chairman Bob Gable says Heiner will introduce former Lexington-Fayette County Councilwoman KC Crosbie as his running mate. Crosbie ran for state treasurer in 2011, narrowly losing to Democratic incumbent Todd Hollenbach. Gable said Crosbie is an excellent campaigner and said Heiner's selection of her for the ticket is "ingenious."
Gable says he believes Heiner will be the Republican nominee for Governor and that he showed his vote-getting ability in the 2010 mayoral race in Louisville. Heiner lost a hard fought campaign in that 2010 race and also served two terms on the Louisville Metro Council.
A newly-formed Super PAC will target Kentucky House races this fall in an effort to win a GOP majority in that chamber.
New Direction Kentucky is a nonprofit founded by former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner, who is rumored to be a GOP contender for next year's governor’s race.
Currently, Democrats retain a narrow majority in the House, with 54 seats to the Republicans’ 46.
New Direction Kentucky spokesman Joe Burgan says the group will not directly give money to campaigns, but will raise funds to purchase ads in contested races come November.
“We will do grassroots work; we will do paid media; we will do earned media. So that’s TV, radio, mail. Working with the press. To really do everything we can to get these candidates across the line," Burgain said.
The group is comprised of business and political luminaries, including Humana founder David Jones.
Burgan did not say how much money the group intends to raise.
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.
WKU Public Radio's interview with Agriculture Commissioner James Comer
Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner says Republicans need to focus on the economy in order to win statewide office, as opposed to stressing social issues.
In an interview at WKU Public Radio Wednesday, James Comer said the GOP has alienated a lot of key voting groups by making hot-button social topics the cornerstone of their campaigns.
“I’m proud to be a social conservative, but I’m not going to run any campaign in the future—regardless of what I run for—specifically on social issues. That has driven off young voters, and that has driven off female voters.”
Comer’s comments echo much of what Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul has said recently about the future of the GOP, and the party’s need to become more attractive to groups of voters that will determine Republicans’ future electoral prospects.
Kentucky's Lieutenant Governor says he is taking a pass on running for governor in 2015.
Speaking Tuesday afternoon to the Elizabethtown Rotary Club, Democrat Jerry Abramson said he wants to spend his remaining two-and-a-half years in Frankfort as an education advocate.
"You don't need to be an elected official to be a public servant," the former Louisville mayor told reporters after his speech. "I see myself really getting involved in public service by advocating for kids, by speaking out, by meeting with parents."
Abramson had previously said he was considering a gubernatorial bid. He told his Hardin County audience Tuesday that he wants to be an "education warrior" who helps the commonwealth develop a more skilled and educated workforce.
Political observers are keeping a close eye on Kentucky’s Lieutenant Governor this week. Jerry Abramson has said he would announce whether or not he plans to run for governor shortly after the Fancy Farm political picnic.
Abramson is addressing the Elizabethtown Rotary Club Tuesday, and every public event he makes this week will likely draw extra attention.
Abramson has made no secret of the fact that he’s been considering a run for the governor’s mansion in 2015. His boss, Governor Steve Beshear will be finishing up his second term and by law has to step aside.
Abramson, a former Louisville mayor, has been often mentioned as a potential Democratic candidate for governor, along with Attorney General Jack Conway, Auditor Adam Edelen, and former auditor Crit Luallen.
Abramson’s Tuesday speech to the Elizabethtown Rotary Club begins at noon eastern time at Stone Hearth Restaurant.
Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson says he's close to deciding whether he'll run for governor in 2015.
Abramson said Monday he expects to decide in the next couple of weeks.
The former Louisville mayor is among several potential Democratic candidates eyeing the governor's race. Others include Attorney General Jack Conway, Auditor Adam Edelen, former Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo and former Auditor Crit Luallen.
Abramson told reporters he's not concerned who else might enter the race, saying "the more the merrier."
Kentucky governors are limited to two terms, and Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear is in the middle of his second.
Abramson will skip this week's Fancy Farm church picnic due to a family event. The picnic includes stump speeches, but Abramson says the focus will be on next year's U.S. Senate race.