The selection process to choose a running mate in the race for Kentucky governor would change under legislation filed by a central Kentucky lawmaker. Current law requires a candidate to make a lieutenant governor selection before entering the primary race. Danville representative Mike Harmon wants to give a candidate for governor until after the May primary to select a lieutenant governor candidate.
“If we do that it allows someone to run for governor without a lieutenant governor until after the primary there by maybe allowing for two strong candidates to run that fall,” said Harmon.
Harmon says this proposal is not in direct response to the David Williams-Richie Farmer ticket in the most recent race for governor. There were a number of media reports about spending issues within Farmer’s agriculture commissioner office. The Republican ticket was sounded defeated by incumbent Steve Beshear and running mate Jerry Abramson. With this type of law in place, Harmon admits it may have paved the way for Williams to choose tea party gubernatorial candidate Phil Moffett as a running mate.
Harmon’s bill also bans lobbyists from contributing to any candidate for governor, lieutenant governor, or their campaigns. As it stands, Harmon believes lobbyists’ power of persuasion may be exaggerated a bit.
“I don’t think they have quite the influence that most people think…you know I’m sure they have some influence..I’ve always said that my door is open to anybody whether they give me money or not,” added Harmon.
Harmon says he proposed similar legislation is a previous general assembly session.