The governor’s race in Kentucky is, quite simply, uninspiring.
The three candidates don’t bring much excitement to the race. Republican candidate Matt Bevin is an outsider from the Northeast, who — after being beaten soundly by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the 2014 Senate primary — never congratulated McConnell on his victory and never endorsed his candidacy afterwards. These were classless moves by Bevin that have haunted him in this election, as McConnell has not gone out of his way to back Bevin in the governor’s race.
Who could blame the Senate majority leader? We certainly don’t.
Bevin obviously didn’t learn a lesson from how he treated McConnell. During a radio debate Wednesday morning, Bevin was asked who he’d support in the upcoming presidential race if the vote were held today. Bevin said not U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Bowling Green, but neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Mr. Bevin, Paul is your home state senator, a tea party man like you who is running for president and has backed your candidacy, yet you have the audacity to say you wouldn’t vote for him, even when Paul has actively campaigned for you and was expected to headline a rally for you Saturday.
This was a rookie, and again classless, mistake to say the least, and a total show of disrespect towards Paul.
After much outrage, Bevin said he would vote for Paul, but the damage was already done.
These examples show a flawed candidate who alienates those who might propel him to the governor’s mansion, but by his own decisions chooses to snub them.
Bevin appears to simply want to be elected to something. As a candidate, he doesn’t inspire confidence because of the aforementioned lapses in judgment.
Meanwhile, trounced in a race for a Senate seat by Paul, Democratic candidate Jack Conway, Kentucky’s attorney general, has bided his time waiting for another shot at higher office. Conway had practiced very little law before he was elected attorney general eight years ago. He is a weak candidate of little substance, who, if elected, will not take the necessary action to address critical problems in our state that cry out for solutions. Conway has been a weak attorney general who was derelict in his duties by not honoring his oath to defend the laws of this state when he declined to defend this state’s same-sex marriage ban before the U.S. Supreme Court. Conway simply offers our state more of the status quo that won’t move our state forward.
Independent candidate Drew Curtis has no chance of winning and, if anything, will be nothing but a spoiler for the two major party candidates on Election Day.
Kentucky faces too many major problems to not have stronger candidates running for governor. Too often, Kentucky is ranked near the bottom in national rankings, especially when it comes to cancer rates, obesity, heart disease and poverty. We need to fix unfunded pension liabilities that are negatively affecting our state’s credit rating. Our tax code is outdated and in dire need of an overhaul. Our coal industry is on life support and needs help. We need better performing schools, especially in Jefferson and Fayette counties. Our state needs a legislature that puts partisan politics aside and works together to move this state forward, not backwards.
We urge the General Assembly to finally come together, no matter who is elected governor, and get the people’s business done. Their chambers can address these problems if they have the will. They have that power, and come January, when the General Assembly convenes, we hope legislators use that power to seriously engage the problems we mentioned.
Those problems transcend this year’s governor’s race, and because neither party appears to have nominated its best or brightest, this newspaper will not endorse a candidate for governor this year.
Bowling Green Daily News