Stumbo sees two re-elections and lots of TV ad time in his future but not necesarily being governor

11/18/2013 05:41 PM

After initially hedging in a recent interview about whether he will seek a 16th term in the state House, Democratic Speaker Greg Stumbo acknowledged that he would — and that he wants to remain as the highest-ranking official in the chamber. But he seemed less enthusiastic about a potential run for governor in 2015.

Still Stumbo said he’s leaving his options open even as he gets more TV ad exposure in the Lexington, Louisville and Eastern Kentucky markets as a pitchman for his new employer, the law firm Morgan & Morgan. Stumbo explained in the interview how it was former Florida Gov. Charlie Christ — who is now running for that post again — who hooked him up with the job.

But he said the new position and the exposure he’s getting is not necessarily a springboard into the 2015 race. (2:30 of the interview)

“We have a record. And you can go back through a 30-plus-year record like I have and probably pull out and use against me politically. So it’s a challenge,” he said at 4:45 of the segment. “It used to be that experience counted. And that’s not actually the case anymore. People look for fresh ideas and new faces. And with all the negativity and the outside fundraising that can be done, the outside money that comes in against candidates one way or the other. It’s a little bit different ballgame.”

As for next year’s House elections, Stumbo said his goal is for Democrats to hold 60 seats by the time the November 2014 elections are over. He said the party is having more success in recruiting better candidates for next year’s election. Democrats hold a 54-45 advantage with one seat to be decided in a Dec. 10 special election. Democrat Kim Humphrey is running against Republican Suzanne Miles in that race .

“Quite frankly, there was a time there when Republicans were getting better candidates than we were getting,” Stumbo said to start this segment of the interview. “That’s turned. We’re looking at younger candidates, new idea candidates, people with backgrounds in business and leadership in their communities.”

And Stumbo said he expects to be re-elected as speaker and dismissed any notion that others, such as House Floor Leader Rocky Adkins or House Democratic Caucus Chairman Sannie Overly could be gunning for the job.

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