Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

July 19, 2013

RONNIE ELLIS: State politics matching outside heat

(Continued)

LOUISVILLE —

But national reporters wrote stories indicating McCain “went around McConnell.” If that sticks in Kentucky, Democrats will use it to undermine McConnell’s claim to power and influence on behalf of the commonwealth.

While Grimes talked about coal, Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer talked about running for governor in 2015. The announcement earlier in the week by Republican Second District Congressman Brett Guthrie that he won’t run for governor, Comer said, gives those thinking about it more time to organize and meet with donors.

Asked if that included James Comer, the first-term Agriculture Commissioner smiled and said yes. He was quick to say a decision is at least a year away, but he clearly sees Guthrie’s disavowal of interest as improving his own prospects.

On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson is apparently considering running as well and has told friends he’ll decide soon, likely before or right after Fancy Farm which takes place on Aug. 3. If Abramson were to get in the race, it can’t be good news for a couple of other aspiring Democrats.

Abramson remains very popular in Jefferson County and it would be difficult for Attorney General Jack Conway, who also lives in Jefferson County and shares Abramson’s base in the state’s most populous county, to overcome the former Mayor’s popularity there.

Presumably, Gov. Steve Beshear would support his lieutenant governor should Abramson run. That might undermine the hopes of Auditor Adam Edelen, Beshear’s former chief of staff. Abramson’s entry would complicate the others’ fundraising as well.

Comer is right. It’s all a long way off. But it gives you something to think about as you sit by the air conditioner.

RONNIE ELLIS writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

 

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