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It's Beshear vs Williams
It'll be Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear against Senate President David Williams in the fall. The line up for the November general election was settled last night in the Democratic and Republican primaries. Beshear had no primary opposition, but he roused a crowd of several hundred in Frankfort, with a litany of his accomplishments in his first three and a half years in office.
Beshear says he avoided mass layoffs, took mandated furlough days himself, sold surplus assets, like airplanes, to raise revenue and created hundreds of jobs.
"Economic experts around the country have all come to the same conclusion," said Beshear. "Kentucky has weathered this recession better than most and is positioned to recover quicker than most. And we've done it the right way."
Beshear also appeared to be testing a new campaign slogan last night. He says he's "Tested. Trusted. Tough."
Kentucky State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach cruised to an easy primary victory last night in his re-election bid. Hollenbach trounced fellow Louisvillian Steve Hamrick for the Democratic nomination. Hollenbach says the vote proves his opponent's allegations that he doesn't spend much time in his office are false.
"When you look at results, you can tell who's been focused, who's been working, and what's been accomplished," said Hollenbach. "And if you look at the results we've attained in my office, no right thinking person would ever assume that I wasn't putting my full attention on the business of my office."
Hollenbach now faces Republican K-C Crosbie in the fall. Crosbie, a Lexington Urban County Councilmember, had no primary opposition.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway had no Democratic primary opposition last nightin his bid for re-election. In November, Conway faces Hopkins County Attorney Todd P'Pool, who was unopposed in the Republican primary. Conway, who was at last night's Democratic Unity Rally in Frankfort, says he's still sizing up his opponent.
"He seems to want to try to re-litigate issues from last year, or senate type issues," said Conway. "And I'm looking forward to the opportunity to tell the voters of Kentucky what I didn't have the time to tell them last year, because of time and resources - and that's the job I've done as attorney general."
Conway lost to U-S Senator Rand Paul in a grueling general election campaign last year.
Lexington Democrat Adam Edelen had no primary opposition last night in his bid for Kentucky State Auditor. Edelen, a former chief of staff to Gov. Steve Beshear, says he wants to run the office just like incumbent Auditor Crit Luallen, who was term-limited.
"For 35 years, Crit Luallen has represented the gold standard in public service in Kentucky," said Edelen. "For the last seven and a half years, she has executed this office with total competence, total integrity."
Edelen faces John Kemper of Lexington in the fall. Kemper grabbed the Republican nomination last night by defeating Representative Addia Wuchner of Florence.
Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer and former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson will square off this fall for the office of lieutenant governor. Abramson told a crowd at last night's Democratic Unity Rally in Frankfort, he's ready for the fall campaign.
"It's a special moment in time," said Abramson. "It's an opportunity where Madeline and I can join with Steve and Jane and we can add value to support their efforts for them to be successful, and to be even more so in the future. And they have been tremendously successful in the three and a half years as governor and first lady, have they not?"
Abramson is the running mate of Gov. Steve Beshear, who's seeking a second term. The two had no Democratic primary opposition. Farmer is running with Senate President David Williams. Their gubernatorial slate grabbed the Republican nomination last night.
SECRETARY OF STATE
Lexington attorney Alison Lundergan Grimes last night grabbed the Democratic nomination for Kentucky Secretary of State. She defeated Elaine Walker, who was appointed Secretary of State by Gov. Steve Beshear in January. The appointment came after former Secretary of State Trey Grayson resigned to take a job at Harvard University. Walker tells Kentucky Public Radio she has no regrets about accepting the position.
"I know that I've made an impact and I believe that I've made a very positive impact on both the elections process and the business filings process," said Walker. "So, I don't regret this in any way."
Walker will continue to serve until the end of the year. Grimes will face Todd County businessman Bill Johnson in November. Johnson won a tough Republican primary campaign over Hilda Legg of Somerset.