High profile Democrats endorse Conway/Overly ticket in 2015 governor's race

06/26/2014 11:04 AM

Three influential Democrats announced their endorsement of Attorney General Jack Conway and Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, on Thursday — just a week after state Auditor Adam Edelen announced he would not enter the primary.

Former Auditor Crit Luallen, former U.S. Senator and Governor Wendell Ford, and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth endorsed Conway in his bid for the highest office in the state. So far, no other Democrats have entered the race.

“I am humbled to receive the endorsements of three people who have been so dedicated to standing up for Kentuckians and fighting for the working men and women of our Commonwealth,” Conway said in a statement. “I am honored to call each of them my friend, and I value their integrity and commitment to Kentucky and its people.”

Luallen, who contemplated a run for the office but decided against in April, said Conway has the “intellect, the integrity, and the vision to be one of the best Governors the state has seen.”

“Jack brings a proven record of leadership and deep policy experience that will be vital to strengthening education and creating economic opportunity in every region of the state,” Luallen said. “He has chosen an outstanding running mate in Sannie Overly, who will inspire young women across Kentucky.”

Ford, who was Kentucky’s 53rd Governor and Senior U.S. Senator, lauded Conway for his achievements in office, but also said Democrats need to keep their eye on this years race against U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell as part of the conversation.

“Jack’s a leader, and I know he’s committed to travelling the Commonwealth, looking voters in the eye, and uniting our party,” Ford said. “As we prepare for the 2015 Governor’s race, we also must remain focused on our immediate priority of helping elect Alison Lundergan Grimes to the United States Senate and keeping the Democratic majority in Kentucky’s House of Representatives.”

Yarmuth also announced his endorsement for Conway Thursday, citing his support for Conway’s main tenant of his platform to expanded early childhood education in the state and create jobs.

“I’m proud to endorse Jack because I know he has the knowledge and experience we need to provide new opportunities for Kentuckians, create good-paying jobs, and lead our Commonwealth into the future,” Yarmuth said. “He and Sannie are committed to expanding early childhood education and making college accessible to more Kentuckians, which are critical to developing a strong economy and ensuring our workforce is ready for the jobs of the future.”

Other Democrats still considering the race include House Speaker Greg Stumbo who has left open the possibility of a run after the November 2014 elections, and former Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo also hasn’t ruled out the race.

Hal Heiner of Louisville is the lone Republican to announce his candidacy so far.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm joined cn|2 in December 2011 as a reporter for Pure Politics. He is now the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics. Throughout his career, Nick has covered several big political stories up close, including interviewing President Barack Obama on the campaign trail back in 2008. Nick says he loves being at the forefront of Kentucky politics and working with the brightest journalists in the commonwealth. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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