With the candidate filing deadline today, Joe Sonka at Insider Louisville goes over the 2019 Governor's race here in Kentucky and what and who we can expect on the ballot for the May 21 primaries, but who you won't be seeing is Bevin's current Lt. Governor, Jenean Hampton.
Gov. Matt Bevin finally made his re-election bid official on Friday, but this time he will not be running with his current Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton. Instead, the governor chose state Sen.Ralph Alvarado of Winchester, a physician who has sponsored legislation to limit medical malpractice lawsuits and create tax credits for K-12 students to attend private schools.
Republican Congressman James Comer considered a primary challenge against Bevin but issued a statement Sunday night explaining his decision not to make such a run – though not without adding a searing criticism of the governor’s behavior during his first term.
Instead, Bevin will face a trio of political newcomers in the Republican primary, including state Rep. Robert Goforth, William Woods of Corinth and Ike Lawrence of Lexington.
Goforth, a veteran and pharmacist, won a special election last February to the state House and won that seat again in November. He chose Lawrence County attorney Michael Hogan as his running mate, who lost a close primary race for attorney general in 2015.
Goforth has criticized Bevin for his harsh words toward teachers who protested his public pension reform proposal, support for charter schools, and the expansion of gambling with instant racing facilities that resemble slot machines.
Woods has a platform of opposition to Bevin’s pension bill, support for abortion rights and support for medical marijuana, with that tax revenue steered toward providing every public school with armed guards. Justin Miller of Florence is his running mate.
Lawrence, who filed for office just hours before Tuesday’s deadline, ran for mayor of Lexington last year, winning less than 2 percent of the vote in the primary. James Anthony Rose, also from Lexington, is his running mate.
On the Democratic side, the primary has shaped up as a three-way fight of big-name candidates, including Attorney General Andy Beshear, House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins and the former state Auditor Adam Edelen.
Beshear chose Jacqueline Coleman as his running mate, a teacher, basketball coach and current assistant principal at Nelson County High School. The other two gubernatorial candidates both looked to Louisville for their running mates, with Adkins choosing the former Jefferson County Board of Education member Steph Horne, and Edelen tapping the prominent businessman Gill Holland.
Perennial candidate Geoff Young — who has lost by wide margins in five races over the last seven years — is also running as a Democrat on a ticket with Josh French. Young, from Lexington, received less than 2 percent of the vote last year in the Democratic primary for the Sixth Congressional District.
Back last November, the state's Tea Party leaders told Bevin in no uncertain terms to keep Hampton on the ticket, because dumping the state's only elected black statewide officeholder would make Bevin look like more of an asshole than he already is. For her part, Hampton all but admitted she was going to be dropped from the ticket last week before Bevin made his decision official last Friday.
Bevin remains one of the country's least popular governors, and thankfully Alison Lundergan Grimes passed on the Democratic side, where her baggage plus the weight of her father's long history in the state would have almost certainly spelled doom.
As it is, state AG Andy Beshear and Matt Bevin have been fighting for three years straight anyhow, so at least he has the practice in facing off. We'll see how the primaries go, but at this point I'd vote for an empty barrel of Woodford Reserve over Matt Bevin.
Besides, it's the coldest day of the year and Matt Bevin is bitching about why many Kentucky schools are closed Wednesday because it hasn't occurred to him that some kids in the state have to walk to school after Bevin gutted already slim school transportation budgets last year and wind chills of -20 below might be bad for students.
The guy deserves to lose.