19th Senate Dist. candidate McGarvey, focused on improving education and how to pay for it

05/10/2012 06:13 PM

(Fourth in a series on on the 19th Senate District primary) — Morgan McGarvey has been around politics from about every angle for the last 12 years, but he said the birth of his twins last year flipped a switch for him to want to serve in the state legislature.

McGarvey, a lawyer from Louisville, is one of four Democratic candidates running to replace Louisville Democratic Sen. Tim Shaughnessey in the 19th District.

Shaughnessey, who decided not to seek a seventh term, has endorsed McGarvey telling Pure Politics back in April,“I think that Morgan is the type of young man who I think can really contribute to the potential of the Senate.”

McGarvey’s list of endorsements is a virtual who’s who of Kentucky Democrats – including former auditor Crit Luallen, Attorney General Jack Conway, former U.S. Senator Wendell Ford, and Congressman Ben Chandler for whom McGarvey served as as his personal aide and driver in the 2003 governor’s race.

McGarvey has taken some criticism from his opponents for raising the most money during the race — more than $120,000. But the majority of that money has come from voters within the 19th District.

And McGarvey said the campaign system does need reforms, especially in an age of Super PACs that can raise and spend unlimited money. Such groups haven’t gotten involved in the 19th state Senate race. But McGarvey said they would have more influence on the electoral process than individual donors who, for state races, are capped at $1,000 contributions.

McGarvey said he’d be willing to consider a plan to implement term limits on state legislators.

“We have term limits at the ballot box. But I think we should look at imposing term limits especially since we haven’t passed meaningful campaign finance reforms,” he said.

In an interview on Thursday’s edition of Pure Politics, McGarvey laid out how he would like to see Kentucky’s tax code changed to generate more money for programs and covering the state’s public pension obligation — as well as how to spread the tax burden away from lower-earning Kentuckians.

“It can’t be revenue neutral, it can’t be regressive, it can’t drive business out of Kentucky,” (at 2:17 in the interview.)

The 19th state Senate District is one of the most competitive primaries this election. With no Republican in the race, the winner of the May 22 Democratic primary is all but assured of being the next Senator. McGarvey, University of Louisville lawyer Amy Shoemaker , environmental engineer Sarah Lynn Cunningham and golf pro Gary Demling all have been featured on Pure Politics over the last week.


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