Looking to 2015: Conway "might" run for governor and Tilley leaning toward attorney general

08/08/2012 08:38 AM

While Attorney General Jack Conway said it’s too early to seriously talk about the 2015 statewide elections, he said he “might” run for governor that year when Gov. Steve Beshear finishes his second and final term.

Conway told Pure Politics that being only eight months removed from starting his second term as attorney general, he’s mostly focused on doing his job.

Conway said he doesn’t feel any pressure to announce his intentions for 2015 early because he has relatively high name-reconginition across Kentucky after running three statewide races in the last five years: twice for attorney general and for U.S. Senate in 2010.

Plus, he added, candidates for governor must find running mates before they can raise money as stipulated by Kentucky law.

Conway wasn’t the only big-name Democrat to make the circuit over the weekend at Fancy Farm.

U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, and his wife, Jennifer, made their first trip to the annual picnic since 2003 — the year Chandler lost the governor’s race to Ernie Fletcher. And former Democratic Auditor Crit Luallen made the trip with Jim Cauley, the Democratic consultant who ran Beshear’s successful 2007 campaign and the 2004 U.S. Senate campaign for Barack Obama in Illinois.

Both attended Democratic functions and circulated around the picnic grounds.

Others being mentioned as part of the conversation for the 2015 governor’s race spent time at the political events in west Kentucky over the weekend. They include House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who gave the most rousing speech at Saturday’s picnic and state Auditor Adam Edelen, who attended pre-Fancy Farm events but not the picnic.

Interest in Attorney General’s race

With Conway term-limited, the attorney general’s office is the next biggest prize in 2015 beyond the governor’s race.

Democratic Rep. John Tilley of Hopkinsville, who serves as the House Judiciary Chairman, considered running for attorney general in 2011 if Conway didn’t seek a second term.

But after Conway announced he would run again, Tilley passed it up. But he confirmed he’s looking at it in 2015.

Others being mentioned in the Democratic primary for attorney general include Andrew Beshear, a lawyer and the son of the governor, and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

So what would a Tilley vs. Grimes primary for attorney general look like?

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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