Comer campaign says issues and support set them apart from other candidates in the race

09/09/2014 03:17 PM

Directly after the official announcement of his candidacy for governor and running mate, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and his campaign team held a press conference Tuesday to discuss the details of the policy and strategy behind the ticket.

Because of the large role the Affordable Care Act is playing in recent elections, Comer was asked about what he would do about Governor Steve Beshear’s decision to go through with a health exchange through the law and expand Medicaid.

Comer said that if Congress does not succeed in repealing the law, the state will have to make the best of the issue but also added that complex issues like the Affordable Care Act are reasons he chose state Sen. Chris McDaniel as his running mate.

“Everything is on the table to try and save taxpayer dollars,” Comer said. “The next governor is going to have to get serious about paying for a lot of things. This Medicaid expansion is going to have a substantial impact on the general fund budget so we are going to have to make some tough decisions and we are prepared to do that.”

On the issue of raising campaign funds, Comer said his ticket will have enough money. But he also said that the large crowd at the Tompkinsville event could not be bought showing the wide spread support his campaign will have.

“We had people from Powell County, Greenup County, Ashland, Paducah, Maysville; we had people from all over the state. A lot of people from Louisville, people from all over the state,” Comer said. “You know this isn’t the way to anywhere. When you leave here, you will put your car in reverse and go back the way you came. Its Tuesday, we weren’t piggy backing off anything.”

When asked about helping areas like the inner city Louisville, Comer said that the area is not much different than Tompkinsville because of the amount of people struggling to make ends meet.

“If you talk to people from Tompkinsville they will say we’ve been forgotten from Frankfort. I don’t think Jack Conway has ever been to Monroe County,” Comer said. “Most of the constitutional officers have never been to Monroe County and a lot of them are in their second term.”

Comer continued to say the governor rarely comes to the region and the lack of interest from elected officials in Frankfort has led to a sense that they have been forgotten which Comer says is what he has heard from those in places like inner city Louisville as well.

During his speech at the event, Comer noted the middle class families in his region that are struggling. Comer said the answer to the problems faced by the people in the middle class is not raising the minimum wage, as many Democrats have argued.

Comer said everyone can agree that most people cannot live on $7 an hour or even $10 an hour but the reason behind the problem is that none of the companies in the state are offering a living wage for the positions, which he said is a direct result of the poor business climate in the state.

When asked by Pure Politics if the decision to start a campaign was a difficult one for their family, Comer’s wife TJ said she has always known this is what her husband has wanted and the family is fully behind him.

As for what issues she finds important, issues dealing with children and hunger eradication are things that she would like to focus on.

About Pure Politics

Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.


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