Meanwhile, Republican Rand Paul continues to hold a double-digit lead over his main opponent, Secretary of State Trey Grayson.
Here’s the breakdown:
Mongiardo – 38%
Conway – 37%
Undecided – 12%
Price – 7%
Buckmaster – 3%
Sweeney – 3%
Paul – 49%
Grayson – 33%
Undecided – 11%
Martin – 3%
Stephenson – 3%
Scribner – 1%
The automated telephone survey of 662 likely Democratic voters was conducted May 9 to May 11. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points. The automated telephone survey of 440 likely Republican voters was conducted May 9 to May 11. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.
A Kentucky Poll conducted last week by Research 2000 for the Lexington Herald-Leader, WKYT-TV and WAVE-TV showed Mongiardo leading Conway by 7 percentage points and Paul leading Grayson by 12 percentage points.
- John Stamper
By Beth Musgrave – firstname.lastname@example.org
FRANKFORT — Two longtime Republican state senators face challengers in the May primary in part because of their stances on the expansion of gambling.
Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, a Lexington senator whose district includes Keeneland and many horse farms, faces Andrew Roberts, a pro-gambling veterinarian, on Tuesday.
Sen. Tom Buford of Nicholasville, who has voted for allowing slots at the state’s race tracks, faces Chad Crouch, an anti-gambling Wilmore marketing executive.
Both Kerr and Buford say their opponents are “one issue” candidates.
Not so, say Roberts and Crouch.
By Beth Musgrave – email@example.com
Jack Brammer firstname.lastname@example.org
FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear on Wednesday set May 24 as the date to begin a special legislative session and offered a compromise two-year budget for House and Senate leaders to consider.
Beshear’s $17.1 billion two-year budget proposal includes portions of both the House and Senate budget proposals that were passed earlier this year.
The governor proposed across-the-board cuts of 3.5 percent for the first year and 4.5 percent in the second year . But the plan also includes less severe cuts to key areas of the budget, including K-12 education, higher education, Medicaid, state police and prosecutors and public defenders.
The proposal would not cut the main funding formula for schools, but would ask school districts to pick up the cost of one school day. The House had originally proposed cutting two school days but leaving intact the main funding formula for schools. The Senate had proposed across-the-board cuts to the main funding formula.
Beshear has said he will call a special session this month to try to get the House and Senate to agree on a spending plan for the state.
By Greg Kocher – email@example.com
By the time state Sen. Ed Worley, the Democratic minority leader, announced in January he would not seek re-election, one Democrat and two Republicans already had jumped in to fill his 34th District seat.
In Tuesday’s primary election, they’ll be joined on the ballot by two additional Democrats and another Republican, the last having held the Senate seat in the 1990s.
If there’s one common denominator among the candidates, it’s that they are mostly inexperienced in politics. The race for the 34th District covers Madison, Rockcastle and Lincoln counties.
The Democrats are Mike Cope, a small-business owner; Landra Lewis, a mediation consultant; and Lee Murphy, the president of an Internet service provider.
The Republicans are Jared Carpenter, a banker; Dr. Kent Kessler, a surgeon; and Barry Metcalf, who held the seat before Worley.
By Dori Hjalmarson – firstname.lastname@example.org
PIKEVILLE — A Pike County magistrate seeking re-election is the target of a so-called unauthorized campaign group that is the first formed in Kentucky since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled corporations can support or oppose candidates, not just issues, in elections.
The group Citizens for Eastern Kentucky Government has received $2,500 from The Law Office of Ray Jones & Bill Hickman and $15,000 from Utility Management Group, which operates Pike County’s Mountain Water District. Ray Jones, a state senator, does legal work for UMG. They are targeting a magistrate who has been highly critical of the company in the past year.
The group began airing a television ad last week that includes images of a woman in racy clothes and says Magistrate Chris Harris “and his cronies” in the Kentucky Association of Counties have spent “our tax money on expensive hotels in New York and Washington, Christmas presents, Derby tickets, casinos, strip clubs, even call girls.” The ad cites Herald-Leader articles about the spending and is airing on Suddenlink and Intermountain Cable stations, said the group’s spokesman, Georgia lawyer Howard Mead. WYMT-TV in Hazard pulled the ad because of questions about its accuracy, station officials said last week.
Harris was critical of UMG’s close ties to public officials and its running of the Pike County water service. Last year, he called for a state audit of the district, which he says has seen a “tremendous decline in financial condition.” That audit is still pending.