DGA chair marks Kentucky as a top priority, says David Williams will take state backward

05/16/2011 01:48 PM

LOUISVILLE — As one of four states with gubernatorial elections in 2011, Kentucky can expect a lot of support from the Democratic Governors Association, the group’s chairman told Kentucky Democrats in Louisville on Saturday.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was the keynote speaker at the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Party’s Wendell Ford Dinner.

And he said helping Gov. Steve Beshear defend his governorship was one of it’s top two goals with keeping the seat in West Virginia being the other. O’Malley spent a lot of time praising Beshear and his running mate, former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, who are unopposed in the Democratic primary.

O’Malley went to bat for Beshear and took quite a few swings at Senate President David Williams, the perceived GOP front-runner, as well as Kentucky’s two senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul.

O’Malley also took a twist on one of Williams’ campaign slogans. In recent campaigns, many Republican candidates have tried to rally supporters with a call to take their state or country back.

But O’Malley, a former mayor of Baltimore, decided to flip the script on the Republican talking point.

He asked the assembled Democrats on whether they want to take Kentucky forward by re-electing Beshear or reversing course by allowing Williams to take the governor’s office.

It was the second visit to Kentucky by a chairman of a partisan governors’ group. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, was the keynote speaker during the GOP’s statewide Lincoln Day Dinner in April.

Because Kentucky has a three person contested gubernatorial primary, Perry spent much of his speaking time focused on economic development. In an interview with Pure Politics, Perry said the RGA was staying out of the primary and would wait until the general election to decide how much it would be involved in the Kentucky’s race.

-Reporting and video production by Kenny Colston

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