Fun on GOP side in May primary

Mary Potter, West Kentucky Journal

With a few exceptions, Democrats will hold hands, singing Kumbaya this May primary season. Only a couple of the top spots - and those are open seats - will have more than one Dem candidate on the ballot. The office of Kentucky governor, an open seat as Steve Beshear is term limited out, has only Attorney General Jack Conway in the Democratic race. His primary opponent dropped out yesterday.

Here's the Democratic line up for May:

Dem. Candidates Governor and Lt. Governor-
Jack Conway ( Louisville) & Sannie Overly (Louisville)

Secretary of State -
Alison Lundergan Grimes (Lexington)
Charles Lovett (Louisville)

Attorney General -
Andy Beshear (Louisville)

Auditor -
Adam Edelen (Lexington)

Treasurer -
Neville Blakemore (Louisville)
Rep. Jim Glenn (Owensboro)
Daniel B. Grossberg (Louisville)
Richard Henderson (Mt. Sterling)
Rep. Rick Nelson (Middlesboro)

Commissioner of Agriculture - Jean Marie Lawson (Union)

That's it for the Dems. Turn out will be low and excitement nonexistent unless something unbelievably interesting happens in the race for state treasurer. Not getting our hopes up there.

Not the same story on the GOP side. The race for governor promises to be a raucous affair.

GOP candidates for Governor/Lt. Governor (in alphabetical order) -
Matt Bevin (Louisville) & Jenean Hampton (Bowling Green)
James Comer (Tompkinsville) & Chris McDaniel (Taylor Mill)
Hal Heiner (Louisville) & K. C. Crosbie (Lexington)
Will T. Scott (Pikeville) & Rodney Coffee (Frenchburg)

Secretary of State -
Stephen Knippe (Independence)
Michael Pilzer (Louisville)

Attorney General -
Michael T. Hogan (Louisville)
Whitney Westerfield (Hopkinsville)

Treasurer -
Allison Ball (Prestonsburg)
Rep. Kenneth Imes (Murray)
Jon Larson (Lexington)

Commissioner of Agriculture -
Rep. Richard Heath (Mayfield)
Rep. Ryan Quarles (Georgetown)

That's it for the Republicans.

The race for governor will be especially interesting. Hal Heiner has said he will put in his own money. Heiner came very close to becoming Jefferson County judge and remains popular in the most populous county in Kentucky. James Comer, the current commissioner of agriculture, is a champion of hemp production. Comer has visited every county in Kentucky. He's been a strong and active ag commissioner. Matt Bevin, a millionaire and former candidate for US Senate who was soundly defeated by Sen. Mitch McConnell. Bevin is a Tea Party guy with name recognition among conservatives. Former Kentucky Supreme Court Judge Will T. Scott will bring an Eastern Kentucky accent to the race. To our knowledge, Scott has never run a statewide race.

Other races will bring out their faithful to the polls. Open seats bring out the hopeful. Fortunately, no one has changed their name to fit the job - as Robert Meade did years ago to Robert Meade CPA - winning the race for state auditor with his perceived expertise. We do wonder how many of the candidates on the GOP side advocated eliminating the office of treasurer when it seemed to be forever in Democratic hands.

We have denoted members of the Kentucky Legislature seeking executive office. Legislators running in 2015 haven't the worries that US Senator Rand Paul has - how to be on the ballot twice. Legislative elections happen in even numbered years.

As one political observer put it. "Running this year has no risk and great benefits for legislators. Winning can mean a $90,000 a year job. If you don't win, you just run for your seat next year."

With no national candidates on the ballot, May 27, 2015 promises to be a very long day for poll workers.