|Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky|
|December 11, 2007 - December 13, 2011|
|Elections and appointments|
|First elected||November 6, 2007|
|Kentucky State Senate|
|Bachelor's||Transylvania University (1982)|
|M.D.||University of Kentucky (1986)|
|Birthday||July 4, 1960|
|Place of birth||Hazard, Kentucky|
Born to Italian immigrants in Hazard, Kentucky, Mongiardo attended Transylvania University and was a member of the Alpha Theta Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order and completed a medical degree at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 1986. From 1986 to 2000, Mongiardo worked as a physician, first as a medical resident in Lexington, and later in his hometown of Hazard.
In Hazard, he helped to establish a free clinic for the poor, volunteering his time while working at the Appalachian Regional Medical Centre, where he became Chief of Surgery and, later, Chief of Staff. The ARMC became a major health care center in eastern Kentucky, growing to house over a hundred doctors.
In 2000, Mongiardo entered politics, challenging Hazard's state senator with a campaign to reform health care in Kentucky. He won, and was soon appointed to the Health and Welfare Committee and a leadership role in the joint Medicaid Oversight Task Force. Due to partisan politics, he was removed from the Task Force chair shortly thereafter, and his health care proposals were blocked by the Republican Senate leadership.
2004 U.S. Senate race
In 2003, Mongiardo declared that he would run to unseat Jim Bunning, a former baseball player and 1st-term U.S. Senator. Although early polls showed Mongiardo to be the decided underdog against the fairly popular and well-financed Bunning (Bunning had an estimated $4 million campaign war chest, while Mongiardo had only $600,000), he gained financial support from national Democrats in October 2004 due to Bunning's controversial remarks, and negative attacks.
Bunning made comments on Mongiardo's Italian background. In response to Mongiardo's dark features, Bunning declared that Mongiardo "looked like one of Saddam Hussein's sons." Bunning later went on to declare that Mongiardo's "thugs" had assaulted his wife. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee began pumping money to Mongiardo when it became clear Mongiardo was closing rapidly in the polls, buying $800,000 of television airtime on his behalf.
The November 2 election was one of the closest in Kentucky history, with Mongiardo leading for much of the night, even with as much as 80% of the returns in. However, Bunning eventually won by just over a percentage point.
2007 Lieutenant Governor race
On May 22, 2007, Mongiardo was nominated by Kentucky Democrats to be Lieutenant Governor on the bottom half of a ticket featuring Steve Beshear as the gubernatorial nominee. The Beshear-Mongiardo ticket received over 40% of the vote in the closed primary, thus avoiding a runoff election. Beshear-Mongiardo faced incumbent Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher on November 6th, 2007 winning with 60% of the state vote.
Mongiardo did not risk losing his seat in the state senate because Kentucky holds its constitutional officer elections in odd years.
- Official Beshear and Mongiardo campaign site
- Follow the Money campaign contributions:
- Project Vote Smart - Senator Frank Daniel Mongiardo (KY) profile, issue positions, voting record, campaign finances
- Politics Nationwide - Senator Daniel Mongiardo Profile