Lt. Gov. candidate Riley says she went independent after GOP and Democrats let Ky. down

04/24/2011 02:19 PM

After working to elect a Republican governor in 2003 and supporting a Democrat for the office in ’07, Dea Riley said she was disappointed enough with both parties to join Gatewood Galbraith’s independent slate this year.

She also said, philosophically, she was ready to leave a Republican Party that she said encroached on personal liberty by trying to legislate morality. And she said she was disappointed with the current state Democratic Party for failing to do more to improve Kentucky’s economy.

“I wanted to see Steve Beshear elected, and I helped,” Riley said on Pure Politics, Friday. “I think he’s been ineffective in his leadership, for many reasons.”

Even though Beshear stepped into the job as the state and national economy were going in the tank, Riley said he knew what he was getting into and should have made programs to prop us Kentucky’s economy a priority.

“I think he should have been more verbose in addressing those issues economically,” she said.

Before she supported Beshear, she served as campaign manager for two state Supreme Court Justices and served as a fund-raisers for the Republican Governors Association in 2003 during Ernie Fletcher’s successful run for governor.

“We all kind of endured the Fletcher administration to great disappointment,” Riley said. “That added to my thinking that we had some real problems in the Republican Party.”

Riley said she broke with a party that she no longer recognized, when becoming an independent in 2009.

“Their insertion into the private and personal lives are a real problem for me,” Riley said of Kentucky’s Republican Party. “The abortion issue, I mean that’s not an issue that any government entity should be involved in. That is a moral choice, a personal choice, it’s a medical procedure… that’s the last place government ever needs to be involved.”

She continued: “No one wants an abortion. But certainly I don’t think there ever should have been a law pro or con in reference to abortion.”

Riley said even though her running mate is Catholic and morally opposed to abortion, a Galbraith/Riley administration would not take any action toward abortion.

As an independent, Riley said she finds herself taking ideas and ideals from organized parties, but only the ones she believes to work for the people.

“I find myself borrowing from say a little bit of libertarian, the Republican and the Democrat,” Riley said.

She also said she expects the Galbraith/Riley slate to raise more than $500,000 and to draw support from disaffected Republicans and Democrats.

Galbraith and Riley don’t have to disclose their finances this month because independents don’t have primary elections.

The slate has filed paperwork to run in the November election but must collected at least 5,000 signatures of voters by August in order to officially be on the ballot.

- Summarized by Lanny Brannock

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