Final days to register for KY gubernatorial primary see divorce, endorsements, and tax records
By Greg Janetka
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky: With the final day to register for the Republican gubernatorial primary coming up on Monday, voters have watched as divorce proceedings, new endorsements, and questions of tax records have taken center stage. The May 17 primary will be a three-way contest: state Senate President David Williams teamed with Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Richie Farmer, Louisville businessman Phil Moffett with State Representative Mike Harmon, and Jefferson County Clerk Barbara Holsclaw with Bill Vermillion, Jr.. The Democratic slate of current incumbent Steve Beshear and former mayor of Louisville Jerry E. Abramson is unopposed and will not be on the primary. Independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith is also running, with Dea Riley for Lt. Governor.
Highlights from the last week
Tuesday, April 12
The Kentucky Democratic Party held a news conference to demand the release of income tax records from the GOP gubernatorial candidates. Party Chairman Dan Logsdon quoted Williams from 1991, when he was serving as campaign manager for Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hopkins. Williams called on Hopkins' opponent to release 10 years of returns. At the time Williams had said that failure to do so "shows an arrogant, deliberate and almost desperate attempt to hide pertinent facts from the electorate."
Williams' campaign manager Scott Jennings called the press conference, "sad, pathetic," and an "admission that (Gov. Steve Beshear) has no agenda other than to distract from his own miserable record." While Williams and Moffett have declined to release such records, Bobbie Holsclaw released records for the last 8 years on Friday, calling out her opponents to do the same.
Richie Farmer, William's running mate for Lt. Governor, responded to a divorce petition brought earlier in the month by his wife of 13 years. Her suit states that marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be reconciled and asks for custody of their three children. Farmer's response disagreed with both statements and asked for dismissal of the petition. The hearing has been set for May 26, the week following the primary.
Phil Moffett received a unanimous endorsement from the national Board of the Republican Liberty Caucus. RLC Chairman Dave Nalle stated, “Kentucky already scored a major victory for liberty last year with the election of Rand Paul, and I'm confident that Phil Moffett will bring the same kind of integrity and dedication to better government at the state level which Rand Paul is promoting in Washington."
Wednesday, April 13
Williams received an endorsement from Kentucky Right to Life, a leading anti-abortion group. Margie Montgomery, Executive Director of Right to Life, stated, "David is one of the strongest pro-life leaders in Frankfort. He has worked tirelessly to pass legislation ranging from the fetal homicide bill to informed consent. Without his unwavering voice, the cause of protecting the unborn would be much further behind. In David Williams, pro-life citizens have a proven leader they can trust to stand up for our values."
- Times-Tribune, "Monday is voter registration deadline for primary," April 15, 2011
- Lexington Herald-Leader, "Democrats want Williams, Moffett to release tax returns," April 13, 2011
- Courier Journal, "Republican governor candidate Bobbie Holsclaw turns over income-tax records," April 15, 2011
- Lexington Herald-Leader, "Richie Farmer files response in divorce case," April 13, 2011
- Lexington Herald-Leader, "Hearing in Richie Farmer divorce case set for May 26," April 15, 2011
- WPSD, "Republican Liberty Caucus endorses Moffett for Ky Governor," April 14, 2011
- Greenfield Daily Reporter, "Republican David Williams wins endorsement from Kentucky Right to Life political committee," April 13, 2011