Stumbo says Williams has uphill battle vs. Beshear, says 'we'll see' to 2015 run

05/24/2011 06:38 PM

Calling both Gov. Steve Beshear and Senate President David Williams talented men that Kentucky is lucky to have, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, gave the incumbent Democratic governor the edge in the November election.

“I hope that it doesn’t become a race to the bottom like some people predict. A lot of times when we get into these type of races the only you can make up that ground is to go negative, and it becomes a race to the bottom,” Stumbo said. “It should be a race to the top.” (see the 1:20 mark of the video)

Stumbo said both Williams and Beshear are qualified to be governor, which he said on his earlier appearance on Pure Politics. .

One of the key Republican messages that attempt to define Beshear’s time as governor is a high rate of unemployment. Kentucky ranks seventh worst in the country in unemployment rate, with the rate still at 10 percent.

Stumbo said unemployment is not just a problem for Beshear.

“It’s a problem for Gov. Beshear, and for Senator Williams,” Stumbo said. (see the 3:30 mark of the video)

Both Williams and Beshear opposed a budget plan the state House proposed that would have allowed the state to sell $1 billion in bonds to build new schools, which House Democrats said would create an estimated 25,000 jobs. While Stumbo acknowledged that it would have added to Kentucky’s debt, he said it would have put Kentuckians to work.

Turning to the Democratic slate for the fall, Stumbo said he would campaign for Beshear if asked, but said he would definitely campaign for Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic nominee for Secretary of State.

“I think (Grimes is) one of the brightest stars in Kentucky politics that we’ve seen come along in a very, very, very long time,” Stumbo said. (see the 5:55 mark of the video)

Stumbo sidestepped questions about whether he might run for governor in 2015 — potentially with Grimes as a running mate should she win the Secretary of State’s office in November. Stumbo said he liked being House speaker but didn’t rule out a gubernatorial run.

“We’ll see,” he said about running for governor.

About Pure Politics

Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.

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