Democratic treasurer candidate Neville Blakemore says he 'will not be outworked'

02/04/2015 10:10 AM

With five people in a Democratic primary for state treasurer, candidate Neville Blakemore says he is “already in a pretty good spot” with money in the bank and dogged determination to run his race.

Blakemore, executive chairman of Great Northern Building Products in Louisville, is one of five entrants in the Democratic primary for state treasurer — an open seat as current Treasurer Todd Hollenbach serves his second consecutive term.

With an October entrance into the race, Blakemore wasted little time padding his campaign coffers with $200,000 in donations, a feat the businessman says took around 1,800 phone calls and no events.

“I cannot, I will not be outworked,” Blakemore said.

Victory in the election for Blakemore comes down to two key points: clarity of vision and intensity of effort.

“One, clarity of vision. The idea of the treasurer as a watchdog — The idea of infusing authority of the office into the boards. And then just entrepreneurial spirit to get things done,” he said.

Blakemore is running in part on his business background.

Great Northern Building Products, Blakemore’s Louisville business, he said is actually bigger than the office of the state treasurer which has a staff of less than 50 people and a budget of less than $5 million.

“If you don’t know how to manage people. If you don’t know how to set goals and set objectives and get things done then there is no way you could actually do the duties of the office effectively.

With a “narrowly defined” set of executive duties Blakemore says the job of balancing the checkbook and overseeing unclaimed property is “important and critical” but not necessarily “dynamic.”

The real potential as a watchdog, Blakemore said comes from the boards the treasurer sits on including the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System and the Kentucky Lottery.

“These boards are big collectively. They have billions of dollars of assets under management. The revenue of the lottery alone is some $850 — $900 million a year in revenue,”

Watch the video below to see more on Blakemore’s background and how he found his way into politics.

Blakemore faces Rep. Jim Glenn, D-Owensboro, Daniel Grossberg, president of the Louisville Young Democrats, former Rep. Richard Henderson, D-Mt. Sterling, and Rep. Rick Nelson of Middlesboro in the May 19 primary.


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