2019 Gubernatorial Race

Kentucky Primary to Offer Verdict on Bevin's Job Performance

May 21, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Voters in Kentucky are casting ballots in a primary that will deliver an initial verdict on the job performance of Gov. Matt Bevin.

The ally of President Donald Trump faces state Rep. Robert Goforth and two other challengers in Tuesday's GOP primary.

Democrats are choosing between three leading gubernatorial candidates on a ballot that also includes contested primaries for attorney general and other statewide offices.

Lisa Autry

Kentucky’s candidates for governor are in the home stretch of their campaigns ahead of Tuesday’s primary election. Democrat Rocky Adkins was pressing the flesh on Friday in Bowling Green.

The former basketball standout at Morehead State University worked the tables at Teresa’s Restaurant telling the breakfast crowd it’s the last three minutes of the game and his team has momentum.  

Adkins has spent more than three decades in the Kentucky House, 13 as majority leader and the past three years as minority leader. 

The state representative from Sandy Hook said he’s the only Democrat in the race who can beat Republican Governor Matt Bevin in November.

Lisa Autry

Democrat Adam Edelen says he’s running for governor to bring 21st century leadership to Kentucky. 

The solar energy entrepreneur and former state auditor says the commonwealth isn’t putting pillars in place that support modern economic development. 

In a speech to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club on Wednesday, Edelen said the state hasn't prepared enough for the digital age.

“Next time you’re outside of Bowling Green proper and you find yourself at a McDonald’s between 4:00 and 6:00 in the evening, it will be chock full of people not just there to buy hamburgers and milkshakes, but because the most reliable provider of wi-fi in Kentucky is a McDonald’s," Edelen stated.

Ryland Barton

There was no need for Democrat Adam Edelen to share the spotlight at the Black Votes Matter forum in Louisville Thursday because none of the other major candidates for governor showed up.

The event was hosted by Simmons College, a historically black college, and questions focused on how to promote wealth and resources in black communities, reform the criminal justice system and improve public education.

Edelen Strategic Ventures

One of Kentucky’s Democratic candidates for governor will lay out his vision for the state before an audience in Bowling Green on Friday evening. 

Adam Edelen is holding a public forum to talk about his campaign platform that includes making the bluegrass state competitive in a modern economy.

"We've got to get broadband to every community in Kentucky," Edelen told WKU Public Radio. "We got to embrace renewable energy as part of our energy portfolio in order to be attractive to recruiting and developing new companies in Kentucky."

Thinkstock

Gov. Matt Bevin spent much of his fourth State of the Commonwealth Address praising the Republican-led legislature for passing measures like so-called “right-to-work” legislation, anti-abortion policies and attempting to make changes to state worker pension benefits.

The appreciative tone comes a little more than a month after Bevin chided the General Assembly — which has more than three-fifths majority in each chamber — for quickly ending a specially-called legislative session without passing an overhaul of the pension systems.

WFPL News

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says she won’t run for governor or any other statewide office this year.

In a statement released Monday, Grimes said that she had been considering a campaign to become Kentucky’s second female governor but ended speculation that she would do so.

“While I am grateful for the confidence, support and friendship from thousands of supporters across this state, I have decided not to run another statewide campaign this year,” Grimes said.

William Woods

Kentucky's Republican primary for governor is shaping up to be a three-man race.  William Woods of Grant County filed paperwork with the Secretary of State's Office on Monday.

Woods is a businessman from Corinth who ran unsuccessfully for the state House in 2012.  He’s seeking the GOP nomination for governor alongside running mate Justin Miller of Florence. 

Woods’ campaign platform includes legalizing marijuana and casino gaming as ways to generate additional state revenue.  He’s in favor of keeping public employee pensions at full funding levels while eliminating pensions for state lawmakers. 

LRC Public Information

A new state lawmaker from eastern Kentucky has become the first Republican to formally launch a campaign for governor as speculation continues over whether Gov. Matt Bevin will run for re-election.

In an announcement Tuesday morning, Rep. Robert Goforth of East Bernstadt criticized Bevin’s character and stance on issues.

“I’m not a New England transplant using the people of Kentucky to feed my ego or audition for a job in Washington D.C.,” Goforth said. “Rather, I empathize with millions of my fellow Kentuckians. I understand and I respect you because I am you.”

Jacob Ryan

Former State Auditor Adam Edelen is the third Democrat to launch a bid for Kentucky governor.

During an announcement in Lexington, Edelen said as governor he would focus on fixing the state’s public education system, protecting health coverage and generating new revenue for the state’s cash-strapped budget.

Edelen depicted himself as a new direction for Kentucky Democrats, saying that he is an alternative to “the stale scent of incrementalism and nostalgia.”