By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – Acknowledging that he wrestled with the decision whether to seek another four–year term as Kentucky’s attorney general, Democrat Jack Conway filed Friday to run again.
Conway, who lost a bid for the U.S. Senate last fall to Republican Rand Paul, told reporters in a news conference in his Capitol office shortly after filing his candidacy papers that he weighed whether he had “enough gas in the tank” after November’s election to run this year for attorney general.
But he said “after prayerful consideration with his wife and family,” he finally decided Tuesday of this week to seek re-election.
Conway, a Louisville attorney, said he did not know if any other Democrat will file for the office. Republican Hopkins County Attorney Todd P’Pool filed for the office last month. The filing deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Speculation about Conway’s political future intensified in recent weeks with major staff departures from his office.
But he said Friday that his consideration of whether to run was not related to staff departures.
He said he missed practicing law in court and that he and his wife, Elizabeth, are expecting their second child in June but realized that “public service remains in my blood” and that he wanted to continue his work as the state’s chief law-enforcement official.
He said he has not considered what he might like to do in four years after another term as attorney general.
For this year’s race for re-election, Conway said he will assemble a new campaign staff.
He voiced concern about his U.S. Senate campaign last year airing a TV ad that sparked national controversy.
It referred to Paul’s membership in a secret society at Baylor University in the early 1980s that mocked Christianity in satirical articles and had been banned from the Baptist-affiliated school shortly before Paul came to campus.
The ad also mentioned a college incident in which a woman, who has remained anonymous, said Paul, as part of an odd prank, tried to get her to smoke pot, then took her to a creek outside town, told her he worshiped “Aqua Buddha,” and made her bow down. Paul called the accusations “all lies.”
Conway’s camp said the ad was meant to question Paul’s judgment, but Paul said many voters perceived it as an unwarranted attack on his faith, using old information.
Conway said Friday that the ad was prepared in haste and was “one of the few times I went against my gut.” He said he would never do that again.
In another filing Friday, Louisville businessman Phil Moffett officially entered the Republican race for governor with his running mate, state Rep. Mike Harmon of Danville.
Senate President David Williams of Burkesville and his running mate, Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer of Clay County, filed earlier this month for the Republican nomination for governor.
Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw is strongly considering entering the GOP primary for governor.
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and his running mate, former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, also filed earlier this month in this year’s governor’s race.