FRANKFORT – Former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who now is director of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, is one of 10 members of President Barack Obama’s Commission on Election Administration.
Obama launched the panel this week to identify non-partisan ways to shorten lines at polling places, promote efficient conduct of elections and provide better access to the polls for voters.
The commission is to submit a final report to Obama within six months of its first public meeting, which is expected to be held in Washington in June.
That’s the hope of Kentucky’s office of secretary of state.
For the 21st year, the office is conducting a contest required by law to come up with a slogan to put on this year’s election materials to encourage citizens to vote.
The office is asking Kentuckians to select online their favorite election slogan to be used on various election materials to be distributed in county clerks’ offices across the state.
By Beth Musgrave
FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear will not have an opponent in the May Democratic primary for governor, but Republican frontrunner and state Senate President David Williams will have two opponents.
Tuesday was the filing deadline to run for the state constitutional offices on the May 17 ballot.
In the Republican primary race, Williams and running mate Agricultural Commissioner Richie Farmer will face Jefferson County Clerk Barbara “Bobbie” Holsclaw and retired Navy officer and Jefferson County teacher Bill Vermillion Jr. Also on the Republican ticket is Phil Moffett, a Louisville businessman, who is running with state Rep. Mike Harmon of Danville.
Williams is the front-runner in both name recognition and fundraising. Williams and Farmer, a former University of Kentucky basketball player, have reportedly raised more than $753,196. Moffett has reported raising $53,000.
By Jack Brammer – email@example.com
FRANKFORT — The May primary election for secretary of state promises to showcase a long-standing feud within the Kentucky Democratic Party and threatens to make Gov. Steve Beshear look politically weak as he seeks reelection.
Less than two weeks after Beshear appointed Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker to fill the final 11 months of outgoing Secretary of State Trey Grayson’s term, a Who’s Who list of Kentucky Democrats pledged their support for another candidate on Thursday.
Alison Lundergan Grimes, daughter of former state Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Lundergan, announced her candidacy for secretary of state at rallies in three cities that were attended by Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and former Gov. Julian Carroll, among others.
Democratic consultant Dale Emmons, who is working for Grimes’ campaign, said she also has the endorsements of U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler of Versailles and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.
A Democratic political consultant who is not involved in this year’s secretary of state race, Danny Briscoe, said it was “a political mistake” for Beshear to appoint Walker, who will replace Grayson when he leaves Feb. 1 to take a job at Harvard University.
Two Kentucky elected officials and a University of Louisville political expert will take part in a free, community forum at U of L Monday about the power words have to shape public sentiment.
Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville, Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson and U of L political science professor Jasmine Farrier will be the panelists.
Both Yarmuth and Grayson are friends of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in the shooting tragedy earlier this month in Tucson, Arizona.
Farrier has been at U of L since 2001 and specializes in constitutional conflicts and the separation of power.
By Jack Brammer – firstname.lastname@example.org
FRANKFORT — Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson announced Friday that he will leave his state post to become director of Harvard University’s prestigious Institute of Politics, effective Jan. 31.
Shortly afterwards, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear announced in a Capitol news conference that he will appoint Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker to serve the remaining 11 months of Grayson’s term.
Walker, 59, said she will file soon to run in the May Democratic primary election to seek a full four-year term as secretary of state. The office oversees all elections for public offices in Kentucky and keeps records for business incorporations, the governor and the General Assembly.
Beshear, who is seeking re-election, stopped short of endorsing Walker in the primary election but said she is “highly qualified” for the position. Having her name on this fall’s Democratic slate for state constitutional offices could help Beshear gain support among women and Western Kentucky voters.
Grayson had been mentioned as a possible candidate for attorney general next in 2011. He is in his second four-year term as secretary of state and cannot legally seek a consecutive third term.
In a statement, Grayson said, “After many hours of reflection, conversations and prayer with family, friends, advisors and others, I want to announce today, that I will not be a candidate for attorney general — or any other office — in 2011. While I am not ruling out a campaign in future years, I am confident that this is the best decision for my family and me.”
FRANKFORT – Republican Bill Johnson, who enjoyed support from the Tea Party movement in his aborted run for the U.S. Senate this year, has officially entered next year’s race for secretary of state.
Johnson, 44, of Todd County, plopped down his $500 filing fee Monday morning in the secretary of state’s office in the Capitol to enter the race.
He is the first candidate to file in next year’s races for state constitutional offices, which will include the race for governor.
ELIZABETHTOWN– Secretary of State Trey Grayson said Saturday Attorney General Jack Conway’s loss in the U.S. Senate race will not be a factor in his deciding whether to run for attorney general next year.
Conway, a Democrat, said Tuesday night after his loss to Republican Rand Paul for the U.S. Senate, that he probably will seek re-election next year as the state’s top law-enforcement official.
Grayson lost last spring’s GOP primary election for the U.S. Senate to Paul.
Grayson, attending a meeting of state GOP leaders at Elizabethtown’s Best Western, said he feels no deadline pressure in making his decision whether to run other than late January’s filing deadline.
The deadline to register is Monday, Oct. 4, Secretary of State Trey Grayson said.
County clerks’ offices throughout the state will accept voter registration cards until the close of business that day. A postmark of Oct. 4 is also required for all mail-in voter registration applications. Registration cards can be obtained over the Internet at www.vote.ky.gov/register.