By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – Luke Morgan, a Lexington attorney with experience in trial court and state administrative hearings, is considering a possible run as a Republican for state attorney general in 2015.
Morgan, 51, said Tuesday he has not yet made a decision on whether to run to be the state’s chief law-enforcement official.
He also said he has set no deadline to make a decision other than the 4 p.m. Jan. 27 filing deadline for all state constitutional offices up for election next year.
Several Republican leaders, including U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, have acknowledged that it’s important for the GOP to field a candidate for attorney general in their hopes of taking over the governor’s office.
Some think the last Republican governor, Ernie Fletcher, was hounded by then-Democratic Attorney General Greg Stumbo, now speaker of the state House, over a state hiring scandal that mired the Fletcher administration.
Morgan, in a telephone interview, said he has heard people talking about his possible campaign and that he is honored to be considered.
Louisville attorney Andy Beshear, a Democrat and the son of Gov. Steve Beshear, 37, filed last month for the office. His declaration papers were signed by his father and mother, first lady Jane Beshear.
So far, Beshear is the only candidate to file for attorney general.
Attorney General Jack Conway of Louisville cannot run again for the office because of term limits. Conway is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor next year.
Beshear has gotten off to a fast start in the race, having raised more than $1.46 million for his campaign.
A recent Herald-Leader analysis of Beshear’s fund raising showed that he received contributions from many with a financial stake in his father’s Democratic administration – executive branch political appointees, Frankfort lobbyists, state contractors and state-regulated industries, including coal, health care and banking.
The younger Beshear said campaign donations would not influence his actions if he is elected.
Morgan said Andy Beshear’s “fund raising and access to money will have no impact” on his decision on whether to run for attorney general.
“What’s most important to me is my family’s consideration,” he said.
The next attorney general, Morgan said, needs to be a person of real-life experience in the courtroom, in law enforcement and representing the state.
Morgan’s biography on the website of the law firm, McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie and Kirkland, said in his 20-plus years as an attorney, he has tried 148 jury trials throughout the state and many other cases he has represented have been resolved without going to trial.
It also said Morgan has conducted several administrative hearings by representing various state agencies, including the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
He also has represented persons facing violations or charges from state agencies such as the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control and the Department of Charitable Gaming.
Morgan was an assistant Fayette Commonwealth’s attorney from 1990 to 1993, an assistant state attorney general from 1993 to 2004 and general counsel of the state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet from 2004 to 2006.
He was graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1989, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1985 from the University of Illinois.