Conway highlights early education as top priority in video announcing 2015 run for governor

05/06/2014 10:33 AM

The brand new 2015 Democratic gubernatorial ticket of Jack Conway and Sannie Overly sent out a video Tuesday morning pledging to make early childhood education a top priority.

Conway, the two-term attorney general, and Overly, a state representative and the Democratic House caucus chairman, formed the first Democratic ticket to enter next year’s race.

“It’s a job I’m prepared to do. I offer you a plan for the future. It starts with improving education from top to bottom,” Conway said in the nearly six-minute video. He said early childhood education and pre-school would be a main focus.

Conway also highlighted the need to combat rising tuition at public universities.

“We must stop pricing the cost beyond the reach of many families,” he said.

Conway also makes broad promises about improving Kentucky’s business climate and infrastructure in a “fiscally responsible way,” although Conway’s initial video plan doesn’t outline how he plans to come up with the money to make those investments.

The Conway-Overly campaign also outlined its key supporters who will serve as campaign chairs, including Nathan Smith, the former Kentucky Democratic Party vice chairman. From the campaign’s announcement:

Nathan Smith, a Northern Kentucky businessman, is listed as campaign chair on the paperwork filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. Rep. Leslie Combs and Dr. Karen Shay, who lost her daughter to a prescription drug overdose and travels with General Conway throughout Kentucky educating students about the dangers of prescription pill abuse, have agreed to serve as honorary chairs of the campaign.

In addition to Conway, state Auditor Adam Edelen is looking at running. House Speaker Greg Stumbo hasn’t eliminated the possibility of running, although he is unlikely to decide until after the November elections when control of the state House will be determined.

Candidates for governor cannot raise or spend money on the race before forming and filing candidacy papers with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. Conway and Overly filed that paperwork Tuesday morning, according to the campaign.

While the video was produced beforehand, often campaigns don’t have to pay vendors for video or campaign launch services until weeks or a month later.

Early in the 2011 race, supporters of Republican ticket David Williams and Richie Farmer accused Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and his running mate Jerry Abramson of improperly spending money on a campaign launch video before filing paperwork with the registry. A Beshear-Abramson supporter returned the favor with a similar complaint against Williams-Farmer, as Pure Politics reported at the time .

Ultimately, the complaints didn’t result in fines for either ticket.

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