By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – Louisville businessman Phil Moffett, who lost the 2011 Republican nomination for governor, is running for the Kentucky House of Representatives.
Moffett said Monday in a news release that he will run for the 32nd House District in Jefferson County next year. That seat has been occupied since 2011 by Republican Julie Raque Adams, who said she is running for the state Senate’s 36th District seat. It will be open with the retirement of Republican Sen. Julie Denton.
Moffett had been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in 2015 but he said Monday he will not enter that contest.
“I am interested in the state legislature, so that’s where I am placing my attention,” he said, adding that he will file for the state House seat on Wednesday.
Moffett will face former Jefferson County Republican Party Chair Shellie May in next spring’s GOP primary election. May announced last month that she would run for the seat.
State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, said Monday that Ashley Miller of Louisville may seek the Democratic nomination for the 32nd House District.
Moffett ran for governor in 2011, coming within 10 percentage points in the GOP primary to then-state Senate President David Williams even though he was outspent 10-to-1. He had the support of several Tea Party groups.
Phil Moffett resigned Tuesday as president and chief executive officer of the Bluegrass Institute, a free market think tank, to run for the state House of Representatives.
Moffett, a Louisville businessman who ran unsuccessfully last year for the Republican gubernatorial primary, said redistricting developments in Frankfort offered him an opportunity to run for the 32nd House District.
Louisville businessman Phil Moffett, who finished second in the May Republican primary election for governor, is the new president and chief executive officer of the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions.
Moffett, who enjoyed support in the primary election by Tea Party supporters and did better than expected, said the Bowling Green-based institute will reshape its mission from a “think tank” to a “do tank” by forming an alliance with Kentucky businesses and liberty organizations, including Tea Party movements, the Kentucky 9/12 Project and Take Back Kentucky.
He said will focus on promoting free markets, smaller government, reduced government spending and limited regulation.
“The time is right to team the intellectual capital of the Bluegrass Institute with the organizational strengths and passions of the liberty groups along with business owners to bring specific legislative and regulatory changes that will make Kentucky more prosperous than it has ever been,” Moffett said in a statement.
By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT — Republicans tried to heal rifts from Tuesday’s primary elections for state offices and unify party support for November’s general election at a rally Saturday at party headquarters.
The two losing candidates for the Republican primary for governor — Louisville businessman Phil Moffett, who enjoyed widespread Tea Party support, and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw, who prevailed in the state’s most populous county — were there to stand by party nominee David Williams.
But they said later that their roles in Williams’ fall campaign remain uncertain.
By John Cheves | email@example.com
Sparks flew several times on Kentucky Educational Television’s Kentucky Tonight on Monday as the three Republican candidates for governor debated how far state government should reach on certain issues, such as drug abuse and education.
The three are competing for the chance to run against incumbent Gov. Steve Beshear in November.
Kentucky Senate President David Williams, generally considered the frontrunner in the May 17 GOP primary, praised his opponents for offering themselves for public service. Williams pledged to support whoever wins the nomination.
However, Williams also jabbed at Louisville businessman Phil Moffett, leading the two men to argue and talk over each other during parts of the live program.
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.
By Jack Brammer
LOUISVILLE – Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams and his running mate, Richie Farmer, defended Farmer’s controversial state expenses Thursday before boarding a big blue-and-white bus to start their “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way” campaign tour of the state.
Williams, president of the state Senate, and Farmer, state agriculture commissioner, appeared together at a news conference in Louisville before leaving on their bus tour that will run every day except Sundays through May 16.
Williams, in his comments to a crowd of about 50 at the Jefferson County GOP headquarters, noted recent news reports about Farmer’s travel expenses and Farmer’s popularity as a basketball star at the University of Kentucky in the 1990s.
“When we started, I thought you were shooting three-pointers and I was taking charges,” Williams said to Farmer. “You are taking some charges yourself. When they are talking about you, they are leaving me alone.”
This is the first of three profiles of Kentucky’s Republican gubernatorial candidates.
By John Cheves
LOUISVILLE — Phil Moffett wants to be governor because he doesn’t trust the government.
Moffett entered civic life in 1998 when he co-founded a non-profit group that helps poor children in Jefferson County pay private school tuition. Moffett, who attended a private school himself, views public schools as “failing.”
The more he thought about it, Moffett tells campaign audiences, the less he liked any aspect of government: Crippling taxes. Cumbersome regulations. Politicians lining their own pockets and public-sector unions protecting bumbling bureaucrats.
He concluded that it all needs to go, and he needs to be the guy sweeping the broom.
“The government has just tramped all over us. I could no longer sit on the couch and watch Fox News and scream at the TV anymore. I had to get up and do something about it,” Moffett told potential campaign donors at a Lexington cocktail party last month.
By Jack Brammer – firstname.lastname@example.org
FRANKFORT — Republican candidate for governor David Williams and his running mate, Richie Farmer, took in $446,943 from Jan. 1 through April 15, giving their campaign for the state’s highest offices more than $1.2 million for the May 17 primary election.
The slate of Senate President Williams and state Agriculture Commissioner Farmer, which reported having $669,839.23 cash on hand, easily outpaced the other two GOP slates for governor — Louisville businessman Phil Moffett with state Rep. Mike Harmon of Danville and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw with former Navy veteran Bill Vermillion of Caneyville.
The Moffett-Harmon slate reported $45,883 in campaign funds from Jan. 1 to April 15. It said it has raised a total of about $100,000 for the election. It was not immediately clear how much cash the campaign has remaining.
The Holsclaw-Vermillion ticket this week showed $22,774 in receipts for its campaign, with $15,289.44 cash on hand.
Although Williams has raised enough to launch a statewide television campaign in coming weeks, his fund-raising lags that of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear by a wide margin.
LOUISVILLE — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bobbie Holsclaw has filed a financial report showing she raised $22,774 between Jan. 25 and April 15.
Holsclaw, the last of three candidates to enter to the GOP primary race, filed the report Tuesday with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who is running unopposed for his party’s nomination, reported $1.27 million in contributions for the three-month period, bringing his fund-raising total to $4.8 million.
The disclosure shows that Holsclaw, who faces state Senate President David Williams and Louisville businessman Phil Moffett, doesn’t have nearly enough to mount an effective TV advertising campaign before the May 17 primary.
Williams is expected to report more than $1 million in contributions and Moffett less than $100,000 in documents that are due by Wednesday evening.