On the Trail

Kentucky Democrats happy to avoid contentious primary for governor as they watch the GOP horse race

05/02/2015 10:28 PM

As throngs of Kentucky Derby-goers packed Churchill Downs on Saturday, Kentucky Democrats are enjoying another race that could come down to the wire later this month: the Republican gubernatorial primary. “It’s a lot of fun,” House Speaker Greg Stumbo said of the four-way GOP primary. Gov. Steve Beshear added: “They’re having a good time it looks like among the four of them going back and forth.” This year’s race for the governorship is an oddity, with only Attorney General Jack Conway seeking the... Read more 

The Chatter: Heiner apologizes to Comer over blogger, Comer seems to take a familiar shot at Heiner in new ad

04/30/2015 06:15 PM

Republican gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner has issued an apology after reports surfaced that the husband of his running mate had communicated with a blogger who promotes material against James Comer, one of Heiner’s GOP opponents in the May 19 primary. The Lexington Herald-Leader’s Sam Youngman reported the story on Wednesday. The newspaper obtained emails that showed Scott Crosbie, husband of Heiner’s lieutenant governor pick KC Crosbie, speaking in the fall with Lexington attorney Michael Adams, who operates a website dedicated... Read more 

GOP candidates keep the gloves on in Americans for Prosperity debate

04/29/2015 05:47 PM

BOWLING GREEN — Three Republican gubernatorial candidates stayed civil during a debate hosted by the small-government advocacy group Americans for Prosperity on Tuesday, honing messages and themes they’ve frequently reiterated on the campaign trail. Much of the debate at Western Kentucky University focused on health care, particularly the state’s health exchange kynect and Gov. Steve Beshear’s decision to expand Medicaid eligibility. Of the three participating in Tuesday evening’s candidate forum, Hal Heiner said the state should offer some form of health... Read more 

President Obama co-stars in latest pro-Comer super PAC ad

04/29/2015 10:35 AM

Kentuckians for Growth, Opportunity and Prosperity has rolled out a new television ad boosting Republican gubernatorial candidate James Comer’s profile against a familiar Democratic foe less than three weeks before GOP voters hit the polls. President Barack Obama has a co-starring role in the 30-second KGOP spot, which is airing in the Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green and Hazard broadcast markets per Federal Communications Commission filings. An official with KGOP — a super political action committee backing Comer’s gubernatorial bid that has... Read more 

Heiner focuses on faith while Bevin takes outsider approach in latest TV ads

04/28/2015 11:04 AM

Republican gubernatorial hopefuls Hal Heiner and Matt Bevin are taking different tacts in new television ads released on Tuesday. Heiner’s campaign highlighted his religious faith in a 30-second spot titled “Man of Faith,” the first ad featuring Heiner with his wife, daughter and grandchildren. Bevin, meanwhile, calls himself a “real deal conservative” in his ad, called “Conservative Change.” The Heiner ad is the campaign’s first to focus solely on religion, although faith has been a key part of Heiner’s candidacy. The Rev. Bob... Read more 

James Comer proposes teaming earned-income tax credit and right-to-work law to grow middle class

04/27/2015 07:24 PM

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer unveiled the final points of his campaign platform on Monday, adding an earned-income tax credit to his gubernatorial wish list about three weeks before Republican voters pick their nominee. Comer and his running mate, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, said the issue isn’t a strictly partisan one, even as Comer cited one of the most liberal supporters of the idea, Democratic Rep. Jim Wayne of Louisville, in his remarks at Bowman Field. The gubernatorial ticket flew to... Read more 

Comer says he will abolish legislative pensions if elected as group again questions his 2005 vote

04/27/2015 05:30 PM

As a group supporting GOP gubernatorial hopeful Hal Heiner launched a second ad attacking Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer for his 2005 vote to enhance legislative pension benefits, the former state lawmakers says he will end the retirement plan if elected governor. Citizens for a Sound Government, a pro-Heiner 501(c )(4) organization, began airing a 30-second spot titled “That Was Clearly A Bad Vote” in the Lexington and Bowling Green markets on Monday. The ad uses Comer’s response to a question... Read more 

The Chatter: Former Gov. Fletcher’s aides become fodder in GOP primary

04/26/2015 03:50 PM

Pointed elbows in this year’s race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination stayed sharp on Saturday as Agriculture Commissioner James Comer conjured memories of a GOP hiring scandal that paved the way for two-term Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s first election in 2007. Comer, who helped former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup’s 2007 primary challenge against then-Gov. Ernie Fletcher, criticized former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner’s supporters who previously worked under Fletcher during a Jessamine County debate Saturday, according to reports by The Courier-Journal... Read more 

Scott proposes different prison path for low-level felons with drug addictions

04/24/2015 02:50 PM

LA GRANGE — Republican gubernatorial candidate Will T. Scott proposed a sizable shift in Kentucky’s corrections system on Friday, suggesting the state build more minimum-security prisons, enhance partnerships with drug courts and finance involuntary imprisonment for drug addicts. Roederer Correctional Complex in La Grange served as a backdrop for Scott, a former Kentucky Supreme Court justice, as he unveiled his criminal-justice plan. “This is where every felony inmate starts out in Kentucky, and this is where their prison paths are assigned,”... Read more 

Neville Blakemore running away from Democratic treasurer's field in fundraising with $340k raised in the race

04/23/2015 09:51 PM

Of the five Democrats vying for the open office of state treasurer, one candidate is far and away winning the fundraising battle. Neville Blakemore leads the Democratic field for treasurer in the quest for cash, bringing in more than $136,000 in the latest 32-day pre-primary report. The fundraising haul brings Blakemore just over $340,000 raised during the race, according to his campaign. The Louisville Democrat gave his own campaign more than $50,000 plus more than $1,000 in additional in-kind contributions during... Read more 


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