More shaking of hands would have helped Conway last year, Mongiardo says

01/23/2011 09:22 PM

Not enough in-person campaigning around Kentucky undermined Democratic Jack Conway’s U.S. Senate campaign last fall, said Democratic Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo

Mongiardo, who narrowly lost to Conway in the May 2010 U.S. Senate primary, said Kentuckians want to see candidates and hear directly from them.

“We want to see who we’re voting for. We want to shake their hand and we want them to ask us to vote for them. And if you’re not present, person-to-person, then do you really want that position? That’s the sense that I got among voters both as a candidate and as stepping back and watching others run as well,” Mongiardo said. “Obviously he didn’t do enough because he lost.”

He added that he didn’t know if that or the “national mood” was a bigger factor in Conway’s loss.

Mongiardo, in this interview segment from Friday’s Pure Politics, also answered questions about his political future after choosing to run for Senate last year instead of seeking re-election this year with Gov. Steve Beshear.

It took several months after the May primary for Mongiardo to formally offer support for Conway. And Mongiardo said during the Pure Politics interview that he had no immediate plans to campaign for Conway’s re-election as attorney general this year.

Mongiardo didn’t eliminate a future run for office but said it was unlikely he would return to the state legislature, where he served from 2000 to 2007.

He expressed frustration at not getting some of his bills passed through the Senate because he was a member of the Democratic minority.

“That type of political approach is going to hurt our country,” he said. “China doesn’t care why we’re fighting. They’re passing us up and with great speed. If we don’t get our politics straight in this country — not in this state but in this country — we’re in trouble as a nation.”

WEB EXTRA:

Mongiardo talked about the more than $58,000 in debt from his 2010 Senate campaign. He has paid off all the vendors but not collected enough money to pay himself back for personal funds he pumped into the race.

- Ryan Alessi

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