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Bevin blames voters for loss to McConnell

It wasn’t that he praised bailouts, fudged his online résumé or even that he got caught appearing at a pro-cockfighting rally.

No, according to Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, the blame for his loss in the May 20 Republican primary to U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell belongs squarely with the voters.

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“We have increasingly less courage in our country, and that’s something we suffer from,” Bevin told Politico. “It’s disappointing to me not even as much as a candidate but as an American, how apathetic and timid we have become as a nation.”

Bevin, who is said to be considering a run for governor, told the Washington, D.C. publication that voters backed McConnell over him because of the senator’s ability to “bring home the bacon.”

“There is still the perception, even though deep down everyone knows the federal government is broke, they think, ‘Well, we might get some goodies,'” Bevin said.

Lt. Gov. Abramson says he will not seek governor’s office in 2015

Democratic Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson ended months of political speculation Tuesday by saying he will not run for governor of Kentucky in 2015. Story on Kentucky.com

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Story: Grimes, McConnell warm up for Fancy Farm speeches with breakfast events

Story: Potential contenders for Kentucky governor wait to reveal their plans

Video: Jack Conway on a governor’s race

Sara Beth Gregory wins election to fill David Williams’ state Senate seat

By Jack Brammer
jbrammer@herald-leader.com

FRANKFORT – State Rep. Sara Beth Gregory of Monticello won a special election Tuesday to fill the state Senate seat in south-central Kentucky left vacant by the resignation of David Williams.

Gregory easily turned back a challenge from Democrat Bill Conn, a Williamsburg teacher, to capture the 16th Senate District seat, which includes Clinton, Cumberland, McCreary, Monroe, Wayne and Whitley counties.

In an unofficial count, Gregory had about 80 percent of the vote.

Candidate Judd?

Ashley Judd said during a panel discussion at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday that she is considering running for political office someday.

Davis resigns from Congress 5 months early

By Beth Campbell
Associated Press

LOUISVILLE — Republican U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis of Kentucky resigned Tuesday, citing a family health issue.

Davis had previously announced he would retire this year from Congress. He said in a statement issued Tuesday that a family health issue had developed recently that needs more of his time.

“As a result, I cannot continue to effectively fulfill my obligations to both my office and my family,” he said. “Family must and will come first.”

Campaign to turn University of Pikeville public moves to legislature

By Jack Brammer
jbrammer@herald-leader.com

FRANKFORT —Saying 12 southeastern Kentucky counties are underserved by the state’s higher education system, former Gov. Paul Patton and two lawmakers made their first pitch Tuesday to legislators about turning private University of Pikeville into a publicly funded school.

Patton, Pikeville’s president, told lawmakers Tuesday that access to the state university system is inadequate in the 12 major coal-producing counties of southeastern Kentucky — Bell, Breathitt, Floyd, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Leslie,Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Perry and Pike.

“Our students attend the state universities at one-third the rate of the rest of the state,” Patton said. “The students and the parents of southeastern Kentucky are inadequately and unfairly served by the present system of state universities.

“This is not the fault of the current eight universities. The problem is that there is no existing state university which can adequately serve this region because there is no current state university in this region.”

Lawsuit challenges new boundaries for Kentucky legislative districts

By Jack Brammer
jbrammer@herald-leader.com

PDF: Read the lawsuit

FRANKFORT — House Republicans filed a lawsuit Thursday in Franklin Circuit Court to challenge a redrawing of state House districts that Gov. Steve Beshear signed into law last week.

The suit affects all of House Bill 1, which also redrew boundaries for state Senate and Supreme Court districts, said Louisville attorney Jason Nemes, who is representing the Republicans.

“If one part of the bill is declared unconstitutional, then the whole bill is unconstitutional,” Nemes said.

Sen. Kathy Stein, a Democrat whose Lexington district was moved to northeastern Kentucky, said it’s “highly likely” that she and some Fayette County residents will join the lawsuit.

“I’ve had several constituents — Democrats and Republicans alike — say they would be willing to be a plaintiff in a lawsuit. This may certainly well be a vehicle to get it in front of the court as expediently and efficiently as possible,” she said.

Adding University of Pikeville to state system runs counter to national trends

A proposal to make the private University of Pikeville the ninth school in Kentucky’s higher education system runs counter to national trends of consolidation and privatization, according to education experts.

In fact, the last time a state absorbed a private school into its public system is believed to be 1970, when the University of Louisville became a state school, according to the American Council on Education.

All three Kentucky gubernatorial candidates square off at EKU

RICHMOND — Less than a month before the Nov. 8 general election, in their first debate together, the three candidates for governor sparred over jobs, the economy and gambling.

The contentious tone of the evening became evident at the beginning of the hourlong, fast-paced debate at Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for the Arts when Republican David Williams and independent Gatewood Galbraith welcomed Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, who has been avoiding his opponents as he holds big leads in the polls.

During opening remarks, Galbraith looked at Beshear, then turned to Williams and said, “I told you it was him.”

Williams replied the event was “a tremendous opportunity” for Kentuckians to see the three candidates together.