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

08/08/2012 09:38 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 has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or ryan.alessi@twcnews.com.


  • Lou Howe wrote on August 08, 2012 10:41 AM :

    John Tilley is a nice guy and might make a good AG, but either Grimes or Beshear would start with a HUGE name recognition advantage and a state rep is a very regional candidate. It would take big money in both the primary and general for him to win this race.

  • Cat Balz wrote on August 08, 2012 04:42 PM :

    Jack “might” run and Crit “might” run, so what the hell..I just might run..Cat Balz For Governor.

  • Bruce Layne wrote on August 09, 2012 02:33 PM :

    I’d like to see a 2015 governor’s race between Jack Conway and Phil Moffett. Those of us who were all in for Phil in 2011 would be back, and we’d raise some money for him this time. I doubt the Republican establishment learned anything from the last governor’s race where they backed David Williams and Richie Farmer and they predictably lost by 21% to Beshear, who was actually a very weak candidate. In the primary, Phil won the golden triangle from Lexington to Cincinnati to Louisville and surrounding counties, and urban areas out west, but apparently a lot of Republicans in southern and western Kentucky voted for “the basketball player”. Can’t fix stupid. But with some money, we can do a better job of bypassing the Republican oligarchy and advertising to reach those voters and educate them on the candidates and the real issues.

    By the way… has Farmer been indicted yet?

  • Marion County wrote on August 09, 2012 03:38 PM :

    Phil Moffett appeals to only the anti crowd that hates everything. I am sure Conway would love to be able to run against someone like Moffett. Farmer should be indicted and in prison. Go Big Blue!

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