LOUISVILLE — Hal Heiner thinks Kentucky needs a new plan, “a new plan to make Kentucky first.”
The Louisville real estate developer and Republican traveled the state Tuesday with his running mate for lieutenant governor, K.C. Crosbie, telling people in Lexington, Hazard and here that it’s time Kentucky had a chief executive with business experience.
“Kentucky is at a crossroads, in desperate need of strong leadership and innovative thinking,” Heiner said to around 150 inside Jordan Technologies, which is housed in a building constructed by Heiner’s company.
Heiner, 62, who served on the Louisville Metro Council from 2002 to 2010 and lost a narrow election for Louisville mayor in 2010, is a champion for charter schools and touts his ability to create jobs.
“This will be a campaign about big ideas and lofty goals,” Heiner said. “If we bring innovation and a change of culture to Frankfort, I know for certain that we can make Kentucky economically competitive, create jobs and make our education system the envy of the nation.”
Those big ideas sounded a lot like standard Republican prescriptions for what ails the state and country.
“We need to get government out of the way and let – the creativity and work ethic of Kentuckians take over,” Heiner said.
Neither Heiner nor Crosbie took reporters’ questions – Heiner said Tuesday was about announcing his campaign and, “We’ll have lots of position papers.” But after Heiner specifically mentioned three states – Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee – that elected “pro-growth Republican governors,” it wasn’t too difficult to imagine he was talking about right to work laws in those states.
Heiner said the state also needs “a new plan that gives parents a choice in education for their children,” presumably meaning charter schools.
Bill Stone, a Jefferson County Republican activist and president of Louisville Plate Glass Company, described Heiner as Wisconsin Gov. “Scott Walker with style.” Walker took on unions in his state and lowered taxes.