2015 Race for governor update: Luallen saying decision 'soon'; Edelen and Comer say tax reform shouldn't wait

01/12/2014 08:45 PM

Crit Luallen maintains she plans to announce whether she’ll run for governor in 2015 “soon” but potentially not until next month at the earliest.

The former Democratic state auditor said last fall she planned to announce her intentions by the end of 2013, and planned to do so independent of naming a running mate.

But after attending Thursday’s Chamber Day Dinner, Luallen said she’s still talking with her family about the pros and cons of running. She said extending her deliberations don’t indicate anything about her desire to serve as governor:

A candidate for governor must form a slate with a lieutenant governor candidate in order to raise and spend money. Candidates haven’t been allowed to form exploratory committee since the 2003 race, which also happened to be the last time Kentucky had a wide open governor’s race to replace a term-limited governor.

Even in that race, though, candidates didn’t begin to officially emerge until February of 2002. Republican Rebecca Jackson was the first to file an exploratory committee Feb. 26, 2002. Ernie Fletcher, who eventually won the 2003 governor’s race, didn’t form an exploratory committee until June 3.

Potential gubernatorial candidates to lawmakers: don’t wait on our account

State Senate Republican Leader Damon Thayer of Georgetown has said in public remarks over the last two months that he expects comprehensive tax reform to be a key debate in the 2015 race for governor.

Thayer — who has also made it no secret that he wouldn’t mind being a running mate on Agriculture Commissioner James Comer’s ticket if Comer runs — said the next gubernatorial race deserves a meaty debate like that after two consecutive races that were largely devoid of policy issues.

But Democratic state Auditor Adam Edelen, who is among those considering next year’s race, said he “couldn’t disagree more” because Kentucky can’t afford to wait until 2016 when the next governor takes over:

Comer, meanwhile, said he expects tax reform to be an issue in this session but doesn’t know whether the groundwork has been laid yet for a plan to pass the General Assembly. But he said it needs to get done:

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