Kentucky FOP picks P'Pool over Conway among its bipartisan mix of endorsements

09/07/2011 06:35 PM

LEXINGTON — The Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Todd P’Pool, the Republican candidate for the state’s top law enforcement position, instead of Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, partly because Conway didn’t appear at the endorsement interview.

The police group’s selection of P’Pool was part of mix of endorsements in this fall’s elections. The FOP members voted in their endorsement meeting for the Republican challengers in the three races involving Democratic incumbents and picked the Democratic candidates for the three races for open positions.

In addition to backing P’Pool, the FOP endorsed Republican David Williams for governor over incumbent Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican K.C. Crosbie over incumbent state Treasurer Todd Hollenbach.

And it picked Democrast Alison Lundergan Grimes for the open secretary of state’s position, Adam Edelen for the auditor’s job and Bob Farmer for agriculture commissioner.

But perhaps the biggest headline was the FOP’s decision not to endorse Conway after giving him support in his 2007 race and 2010 campaign for U.S. Senate.

The group declined to endorse Conway this year because he didn’t show up for in person interviews.

Conway’s spokeswoman, Allison Haley, said in a statement that Conway still interviewed for the endorsement, just not in person.

“A scheduling conflict kept Attorney General Conway from appearing before the board in person, but he participated in an endorsement interview via conference call. He also completed the F.O.P. candidate questionnaire – which highlights collective bargaining rights and the pension system for law enforcement officers and retirees,” Haley said. “It’s puzzling that this year the F.O.P. has endorsed two candidates – David Williams and our opponent – who have little chance of winning and will actively work against the organization’s long-standing efforts to preserve and strengthen these protections.”

But at a news conference on Wednesday, the FOP leaders said they didn’t buy the excuse and said they endorsed P’Pool, the Hopkins County Attorney, because of Conway’s absence and because P’Pool is a prosecutor.

P’Pool welcomed the endorsement of the law enforcement organization, saying it showed progress in his campaign to unseat Conway.

-Reporting and video production by Kenny Colston

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