4:46pm

Wed May 18, 2011
Statehouse News

Assessing the Governor's Race

The top two leaders of the Kentucky House of Representatives are assessing the outcome of Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary.  Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Minority Floor Leader Jeffrey Hoover have been studying the counties captured by Senate President David Williams, who grabbed the Republican nomination. 

 

Stumbo believes the map benefits Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who's seeking a second term.  Beshear had no primary opposition. 

“In the urban areas, because of the media coverage, I think President Williams has a challenge there – probably more so than the rural areas," said Stumbo.  "It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.”

But Hoover doesn’t believe there’s necessarily an urban/rural split.  What concerns him most is voter turnout.  He says Williams and his running mate, Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, must get more voters to the polls in November. 

“I think if they work on the turnout, they can prevail in the fall," said Hoover.

Turnout for the primary was just over 10 percent.  The worst primary turnout on record in Kentucky was 6.4 percent in 1999.  That year, Democratic Gov. Paul Patton went on to win re-election over a weak Republican nominee.

There are roughly 600,000 more registered Democrats in Kentucky than Republicans.  The state has around 200,000 independents, or 'others.'