McDonalds fries Graviss's bid for Secretary of State

07/15/2010 09:25 AM

Joe Graviss

Joe Graviss, a Versailles-based McDonalds franchise owner, is withdrawing from the 2011 Democratic primary for Secretary of State because of a “contractual obligation” to the fast-food company.

In a letter Graviss sent cn|2 Politics early Wednesday, Graviss explained in detail the clause in his contract with McDonalds that has thwarted his run for statewide office. Initially, he said the McDonalds Corporation seemed to support Graviss’ bid for Secretary of State, which is why Graviss went ahead and filed paperwork with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance to start a campaign fund and begin running in May.

“But, just a few days ago, my strong desire to serve the citizens of Kentucky met with unexpected opposition from McDonalds,” he wrote. “… Top management invoked a clause in our agreement that calls for ‘full-time and best efforts’ toward restaurant operations.”

Graviss has been involved in politics and government in recent years. He campaigned on behalf of Gov. Steve Beshear in 2007 and serves on the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

Those activities are acceptable to McDonalds, Graviss wrote, “just not full-time statewide roles” such as becoming Secretary of State.

That position is one of seven statewide positions that will be up for election next year. Secretary of State Trey Grayson, a Republican, is leaving the office because of term limits. He has served since 2003.

- Ryan Alessi


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