Harmon says David Williams wasn't happy about competition in primary

04/25/2011 07:14 PM

While he knew his GOP ticket in the governor’s race would be the underdog, state Rep. Mike Harmon said he was taken aback by the response he got from his fellow Republican legislator and rival in the primary, David Williams.

Harmon said before the David Williams-Richie Farmer Republican ticket was announced, Williams told Harmon while they were shaking hands at an event that Harmon didn’t make a wise choice getting in the race.

“He said you made a mistake. You made a big mistake,” Harmon said. (You can find that at about the 2:35 mark in the video.)

Harmon is running for lieutenant governor on the ticket of Phil Moffett, a Louisville businessman who has sought to harness tea party support.

Harmon also said Williams later approached him to say that if the campaign didn’t quit pointing out Williams’ past legislative history — including his support for a legislative pension bill in 2005 House Bill 299 — that, “he would make sure that even if we won the primary, he would make sure we didn’t win the general election.”

Fundraising has been an issue for Moffett-Harmon, with only about $11,000 on hand three weeks before the primary. Harmon said he knew going in that besting Williams would be difficult.

“We suspected that he was actually going to get in, in advance. And we knew that it was going to be a challenge,” Harmon said.

Harmon said if he and Moffett don’t win the primary, he would not work against Williams but would want the Republican nominee to win, but didn’t think Williams would feel the same.

Harmon also answered questions about an amendment he put on a bill aimed at preventing bullying of students based on their race, religion or sexual orientation, as mentioned in both the Herald-Leader and Courier-Journal profiles of Harmon from over the weekend. (That discussion starts at about the 5:16 mark)

Earlier in the interview, Harmon answered questions about how he might differ from running mate Moffett.

- Summarized by Lanny Brannock, interview by Ryan Alessi


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