Democrat Secretary of State candidates double check each other's commitment to party unity

05/08/2011 09:37 AM

Even though both Democratic Secretary of State candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes and recently appointed Secretary of State Elaine Walker have both signed a Democratic Party unity pledge, the candidates clearly have questions about how committed the other is to that.

Grimes focused on that during her opportunity to ask a question of Walker during their discussion on Pure Politics.

Walker responded that indeed she would immediately back the Democratic nominee after the primary, then turned the question around on Grimes.

“I’m in this because I think we need somebody that can energize and unite all 120 counties,” Grimes responded, adding that she believed Democrats were the best choice to be the Secretary of State. (See the 1:30 mark of the video)

Walker asked Grimes what experience she had that would help her create jobs as Secretary of State. Grimes responded, however, that Walker’s experience as long-time Bowling Green mayor would not help Walker create jobs.

“My background as a practice business attorney, who has worked with this office for the past six years, knows the laws inside and out, is something that I’m bringing to the table and very excited about,” Grimes said. (See the 2:30 mark of the video)

Walker countered that attorneys wrote legislation in the previous legislative session which wasn’t compliant with state and federal laws, and she worked to get that legislation changed. She noted that Grimes had never overseen a budget in the millions of dollars as she, herself, had.

Grimes brought up the fact that Walker isn’t a native Kentuckian, nor a life-long Democrat. Walker said she chose Kentucky over any other state, and decided to be a Democrat after growing up with Republican parents. (Walker later worked for two Republican congressman from Pennsylvania before becoming a Democrat).

“I’m a Kentuckian by choice. I’m a Democrat by choice. My dad was in the military, so I never knew a hometown. When my husband and I chose Kentucky, we were very proud that our children were educated in public schools. We were very proud that we have been welcomed into the community,” Walker said (see the 7:10 mark of the video)

Walker said it doesn’t matter where she came from. Grimes conceded that point — but also used it to stress her Kentucky roots.

“I won’t hold it against Elaine, that she was born a Republican if she won’t hold it against me that I was born and have always been a Democrat,” Grimes said.

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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