Northern Ky. Chamber head disappointed that no gubernatorial debates taking place in northern, eastern or western Kentucky

06/16/2015 10:10 AM

FORT MITCHELL — Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and former Secretary of State Trey Grayson is unhappy that there will be no gubernatorial debates held in northern Kentucky.

It was announced that Democratic gubernatorial nominee Attorney General Jack Conway and GOP nominee Matt Bevin will participate in five debates beginning this Friday at the County Judge-Executives/Magistrates Conference in Louisville.

The gubernatorial candidates are also scheduled to meet at Kentucky Farm Bureau’s “Measure the Candidates” event July 23; a debate hosted by WAVE-TV and AARP at Centre College Oct. 6; a forum held by WLKY-TV, WKYT-TV and the Kentucky League of Women Voters at Eastern Kentucky University Oct. 25; and Kentucky Educational Television’s “Kentucky Tonight” Oct. 26.

Conway and Bevin will also attend the Fancy Farm picnic Aug. 1.

House Majority Caucus Chairwoman Sannie Overly, Conway’s running mate, will debate Republican lieutenant governor nominee Jenean Hampton on “Kentucky Tonight” Oct. 19.

Grayson feels that it’s important to appear in all regions of the state because different areas have different issues which results in different questions during the debates.

In an interview with Pure Politics, Grayson noted that in his 2010 Republican primary U.S. Senate race with Rand Paul, they debated in each of the state’s six congressional districts.

“It really is a disservice to the folks outside that central part of the state,” Grayson said. “It’s irresponsible to not have debates outside the central part of the state.”

Grayson also noted that this years GOP primary reminded him of the 1987 Democratic gubernatorial primary in which former Gov. John Y. Brown and Steve Beshear went hard at each other, and it was relative unknown Wallace Wilkinson winning the nomination.

“You had two frontrunners kind of beating each other up, and the third candidate, in that case, soon to be Gov. Wallace Wilkinson comes right between and finishes strong and wins,” Grayson said. “That’s what you had here. Bevin picked up some support at the end as Comer and Heiner were paying attention to each other.”


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