Williams, Moffett take on Beshear at Fayette GOP dinner

April 30, 2011 | | Comments 14

By Jack Brammer

Two Republican candidates for governor took on Democratic incumbent Steve Beshear more than each other Saturday night at the Fayette County Republican Party dinner.

Senate President David Williams of Burkesville claimed Beshear, who has no opponent in May’s Democratic primary election, has no agenda and Louisville businessman Phil Moffett said Forbes magazine last October labeled Kentucky as the worst run state in the nation and that Kentucky’s bond rating has declined because of the state’s financial picture.

Williams and Moffett were at center stage at the Fayette GOP dinner at the Griffin Gate Marriott attended by about 200 people and hosted by Lexington sports media celebrity Dave Baker.

A third Republican candidate for governor, Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw, was invited but did not show up, said Fayette County GOP Chair Carol Rogers.

Mike Karem, a consultant for the Holsclaw campaign, said she got ill after eating something that did not agree with her at a Henry County campaign event.

With little more than two weeks until the May 17 GOP primary election, it was unusual at the Fayette County dinner to hear opposing candidates on the campaign trail make no mention of each other by name.

Moffett campaign chairman David Adams later said Moffett was referring to Williams when he talked about Kentucky’s financial condition.

“David Williams needs everyone to forget that he voted for every bad budget Steve Beshear has enacted,” Adams said. “Kentucky’s bonded debt has increased by nearly $3 billion the last three years and all that red ink is on Williams’ hands. That’s why conservative voters support Phil Moffett.”

Williams’ campaign staff said he rarely mentions his primary opponents by name.

Moffett, who is making his first bid for public office and has enjoyed endorsements of various Tea Party groups in the state, noted that he is the only candidate in the race who is not a career politician.

He said his campaign is based on four platforms: state sovereignty that would include getting the federal Environmental Protection Agency out of the coal fields, creating more jobs through tax reform, improving education through such moves as establishing charter schools that run with less state oversight and making government smaller.

Williams said he is running for governor because “this state is adrift.”

He said it’s Beshear’s fault and not his that Kentucky is performing poorly.

He predicted that he and his running mate, state Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, will be sworn into office in December and provide strong, decisive leadership.

Several candidates for other state constitutional offices this year attended the dinner.

Hopkins County Attorney Todd P’Pool, who is running for state attorney general, said his campaign raised more than $100,000 at a Madisonville fund raiser last week with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Louisville.

P’Pool, who is unopposed in the GOP primary election, hopes to unseat Democratic incumbent Jack Conway of Louisville in November’s general election.

Also at the dinner was Lexington businessman Andy Barr, who lost a close race last year for Central Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District seat.

Barr said he is “still evaluating” whether he will challenge Democratic incumbent Ben Chandler of Versailles next year.

Barr also said he wants to make sure that the redrawing of district boundary lines by the state legislature keeps the 6th District “unified and it is not broken up.”

The keynote speaker at the dinner was Wall Street Journal conservative political columnist John Fund, who spoke about national issues.

Filed Under: 2015 Statewide RacesAndy BarrDavid WilliamsElectionsGovernorJack ConwayMitch McConnellRepublican PartyRichie FarmerState BudgetSteve Beshear

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  1. kentuckyvoter says:

    What do you expect from Williams . He is a big part of the problem in Kentucky. He has raised taxesd mis spent the taxpayers money along with his running nate 3 point Richie Farmer. Hey Richie poay back the money to the tax poayers

  2. James S Oliver says:

    Butthead Williams and Bemus Farmer are the TWO MOST Dispicable/Dishonest/Dishonorable candidates that a state could possibly have and IT’S ALL right out there in the Public EYE…..If Only the Public will just open their eyes !!

  3. Bill Adkins says:

    Phil Moffett showed up in full makeup – but Richie Farmer was driving that clown car. Tepid is overstating any description of the GOP’s gubernatorial bench.

  4. janedough says:

    Responsible Republicans, you need to turn out in droves for the primary on May 27th and keep the Bully of Burkesville from getting through the primary. We aren’t going to leave him in the Senate either. There are already people considering running for his seat. He is going HOME! That is, if the good people of Burkesville will have him.

  5. Jackie says:

    Two candidates busy fundraising and attacking the Governor as the Governor is busy taking care of th citizens in the worse disater ever. It would be nice to see both candidates take a few minutes to help the citizens. But both will be making rounds to those supporting citizens to ask for a vote. Actions speak so much more than words/lip service.

  6. Steve says:

    Jackie, I suggest you go to and read about how Phil has helped over 3000 needy children in Jefferson County. He has made it possible for those kids to get better educations than they ever could have without his help! The facts are Phil Moffett has already proven he cares that is why he is running to get rid of the current Governor. We need leaders like Phil who have already put their money where their mouth is! Neither Beshear or Williams can touch Moffett when it comes to character!

  7. chimneyrock says:

    3 billion is just the new bonds from Williams and Beshear. The pension grab is over 30 billion. In the 10 years Williams has been the senate president, we went from 3.5 billion in the hole to 44 billion. It is time to throw out career politicians for good. Please vote for Phil Moffett.

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  13. silence do good says:

    Did anyone see Phil “I love Pills” Moffett lie? He ran half of his campaign on nullifying the DEA and FDA. He is willing to nullify these agencies just so he can grow hemp plants. He could care less about our meth problem. All he wants to do is grow hemp and hang out with headshop owners. This guy is a joke.

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