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Democratic candidates sign “unity pledge”

February 17, 2007 | | Comments 17

All seven Democrats for governor signed a "unity pledge" with the party to promise that they will run "a clean, positive and issues-based campaign."

Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Lundergan told the party’s executive committee this afternoon that each of the candidates promised not to run personal attack ads during the campaign and get behind the winner of the May 22 primary (or after the run-off five weeks later).

"I fully understand the ramifications of personal, negative attacks toward Democratic candidate during the primary election cycle and I recognize that such campaign tactics have the potential to damage all candidates … and divide the party," the pledge states.

Five candidates — former lieutenant governors Steve Henry and Steve Beshear, House Speaker Jody Richards, Louisville businessman Bruce Lunsford and Lexington lawyer Gatewood Galbraith — signed the pledge at a meeting at Democratic headquarters in Frankfort on Thursday. State treasurer Jonathan Miller and Harlan demolition contractor Otis Hensley signed off on the pledge and sent them in later.

Lundergan told reporters later that he didn’t consider it negative for candidates to draw contrasts with each other over issues, positions or voting records. But he said he considered detailing a candidate’s business record or dealings, personal lives or past party loyalty to be "personal attacks."

UPDATE 6:59 p.m.: Some candidates, including Lunsford, already pledged on their own to run a positive campaign. Lunsford has been fielding questions from reporters and Democratic activists since announcing his run on Jan. 30 about his actions during the 2003 governor’s race.

Lunsford and Ben Chandler were engaged in a tough primary  battle with sometimes harsh ads. Then Lunsford backed Republican Ernie Fletcher against Chandler in the fall race.

Dale Emmons, a Democratic campaign consultant working with Lunsford, said questions about Lunsford’s actions in that race are fair game.   

But Carol Andrews, spokeswoman for Miller’s campaign, noted that Lunsford made a similar promise in 2003 to stay positive. “I don’t know whether any such pledge was signed but he did make public statements that he would back the nominee and stay away from personal attacks and he did neither,” she said.

Andrews said Miller takes the pledge seriously. At the same time, contrasting records in government and business are important to allow voters to make their choice, she said.

For more details on this and the meeting, stay tuned to Pol Watchers and see the "Trail Mix" column in Sunday’s Herald-Leader.

- Ryan Alessi

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  1. Anonymous says:

    when some so-called “outsider” runs as a BUSINESSman, it is NOT ‘negative’ or wrong to question their BUSINESS record an/or ethics. according to that standard, it would also have to be considered ‘negative’ and wrong to question a politician’s legislative record, for example.

    this charade just goes to show how much lundergan et al are trembling about the prospect of a Democratic governor (Miller) who will threaten the foundation of the current good-old-boy system at the kdp. lundergan is upset miller already addressed lunsford’s shady actions while all the other candidates stood by with their tails between their legs.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Miller has zip name recognition, is not considered a viable candidate & has come in below Gatewood Galbraith in a Courier-Journal poll recently conducted if you can believe it. thanks for your comment but Miller is a non-issue in this race.

  3. Anonymous says:

    jonathan miller has the greatest potential to grow out of the entire field. his favorabilities rank second and his negatives rank the lowest. this is his to win.

    name rec can be bought.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Miller has zip name recognition, is not considered a viable candidate & has come in below Gatewood Galbraith in a Courier-Journal poll recently conducted if you can believe it.”

    1) Jonathan Miller is the incumbent, twice-elected state treasurer. Are you saying all the Kentuckians who voted to elect and reelect him won’t recognize his name in May? Please.

    2) The “poll” you’re referring to was an online WYMT account involving a mere 435 opinions from stumbo-mongiardo country. Are you that desperate to say it was a Courier-Journal poll? I pity you.

  5. KyPoliWonk says:

    Anon @ 10:37,
    They are talking about the Courier-Journal’s Bluegrass Poll due to hit newsstands tomorrow. Keep in mind that this poll is of Democrats AND Republicans statewide. It is a name ID poll only with favorables and unfavorables and not worth much when it comes to the actual primary.

  6. robespierre says:

    So, according to Idiot @ 9:04, it’s going to be Fletcher vs. Henry in November.

    Thanks for your comment, but you’re a non-issue in this thread.

  7. After Alessi’s Henry piece, there’s no way on earth the man can win an election and/or avoid legal ramifications.

  8. Conservative says:

    Cant we all get along?

    Henry non issue
    Miller non issue and he has stuff coming about him.
    Lunsford DOA
    Breshear DOA
    Galbraith nice guy
    Otis Nice guy

    Richards Winner

  9. robespierre says:

    like i said in the other post: GET A LIFE, LOSER.

  10. Bath County Unity says:

    Well it’s no suprise that the democrats have put together a unity pledge. Maybe they have the same unity model as those Bath County Politicians. Maybe we can get some money out of our votes for the state democratic party elections. Lundergan can be the auctioneer.

  11. Anonymous says:

    A couple of days ago robespierre was on here pokinG fun of Richards and making up rumors to promote his candidate; like I said he was doing this hoping to get his Cadidate to the front of the pack. WELL; now we see where His candidate is in the back of the field and his whole world has fallen apart,remember robespierre, I told you ” HE WHO LIVES IN A GLASS HOUSE SHOULD NOT THROW STONES”

  12. Anonymous says:

    A couple of days ago robespierre was on here poking fun of Richards and making up rumors to promote his candidate; like I said he was doing this hoping to get his Cadidate to the front of the pack. WELL; now we see where His candidate is; in the back of the field and his whole world has fallen apart,remember robespierre, I told you ” HE WHO LIVES IN A GLASS HOUSE SHOULD NOT THROW STONES”

  13. Anonymous says:

    Posted at 8:05 has a candidate that is perfect in every way———I aint never met a perfect human being; which tells me this candidate cain’t be real.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hey, bath county unity, call “MONEY BAG MITCH” to do the auctioneering; he’s the greatest when it comes to getting top dollar.

  15. Conservative says:

    robespierre for dog catcher

  16. robespierre says:

    still have yet to see anything about your front-page back-breaking scandal, big boy. what gives?

  17. Conservative says:

    patience?