Lawrence County Attorney Mike Hogan running for Attny. Gen. to increase county and commonwealth attorney budgets

01/16/2015 07:15 AM

Louisa Republican Michael T. Hogan, who is starting his fourth term as Lawrence County attorney, said he decided to pull the trigger on a statewide bid for attorney general after a hunting trip to the western portion of the state, setting up a GOP primary.

The 46-year-old Hogan said that the 120 county attorneys need a candidate “in their own ranks” to hold the office of state attorney general, and he made a pitch to help them with their bottom lines too.

“I want to be a voice for the local prosecutor,” Hogan said.

“What mainly you’ll hear from these people is not so much the forensic and logistical support that they need, it’s financial support. They need an attorney general that’s going to lobby the legislature, that’s going to maintain and protect their budgets.”

Calling the amount of financial support for local attorneys in the state “minimal” and “inadequate,” Hogan said he felt county prosecutors would benefit from an attorney general who lobbies the General Assembly for more funding. He estimated $5 million to $6 million could make a difference.

“I think most people that have been in my position have been too busy doing the work to come to Frankfort to make their case,” Hogan said. “And once the pressure would be put to bear on the legislature and the governor I think monies could be available.”

A review of the past two biennial budgets passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor shows significant increases into the unified prosecutorial system under the Prosecutors Advisory Council from 2011 to 2016.

The current biennial budget for fiscal 2015 and 2016 shows budget increases for both commonwealth attorneys and county attorneys.

Hogan said he doesn’t know state Sen. Whitney Westerfield, the other GOP candidate for attorney general, or his work history, but Hogan is willing to stake his chances in the primary on his decades in private practice and as an elected attorney.

The 35-year-old Westerfield is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and works in private practice in his hometown of Hopkinsville. Westerfield previously served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for more than five years.

But Hogan said voters should judge the race in the primary on experience.

“If you’re going to hire an attorney general, hire the one with the most experience,” he said.

To win statewide it takes cash, but Hogan says he does not expect a lot of money to be raised in a GOP primary. He said his campaign has set a target of $250,000 and he expects to self fund a portion of that overall amount.

“I’ve self funded most of my races. … I’m not going to spend my children’s college fund on it,” Hogan said.

Current Attorney General Jack Conway won his first term in the office in 2007 raising nearly $450,000, but Democratic candidate Andy Beshear already has raised more than three times that amount with nearly $1.6 million in his campaign coffers.

“If you do win the Republican primary, I do think the Republican donors and other donors will give money to whoever wins this primary,” Hogan said.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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