By Jack Brammer
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.
Ashley Judd said during a panel discussion at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday that she is considering running for political office someday.
By Beth Campbell
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.”
By Jack Brammer
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.”
By Jack Brammer
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.
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.
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.
LOUISVILLE (AP) – Two Republican activists have sued over Libertarian state treasurer candidate Ken Moellman’s place on the ballot. The two activists claim that about half of the 8,100 signatures Moellman collected for his nominating petition are either flawed or fictitious, leaving him with fewer than the 5,000 signatures required to run for statewide office. [...]
Videos from key speeches at Fancy Farm 2011, including Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Steve Beshear, David Williams and Gatewood Galbraith. All videos by Rich Copley.
Gov. Steve Beshear:
Sen. David Williams: