Tuesday, May 8, 2007

98. On the race for Governor

O to be in Kentucky now that it is Primary Season.

Yesterday, the candidate I was supporting for governor dropped out of the race and endorsed someone I do not plan to support, unless he is ultimately the nominee for the Democratic Party, something we are not likely to know until late June. I should point out that my support was based on his running mate, Irv Maze, the Jefferson County Attorney who is both friend and supporter, employer and political leader. Irv Maze would make an excellent addition to any administration in Frankfort, just as he has made an excellent public servant here in Jefferson County.

This is the second Primary in a row where this has occurred. Last time it was Bruce Lunsford who having filed again this year is, so far, still running, and spending millions of dollars doing so. Four years ago Lunsford spent $8,000,000.00 of his own greenbacks before withdrawing just a few days before the Primary and endorsing Jody Richards. Richards, the very likable Speaker of Kentucky's House of Representative did not win four years ago with Lunsford's last minute backing and is running again, this time without it - at least so far.

My previously supported candidate, a Harvard educated Lexington progressive, has served eight years as Kentucky's State Treasurer with no scandals, either personally or professionally. He had previously lost a race for Congress in the 6th District which generally is Fayette County and the counties surrounding Fayette County, with a few exceptions. He dropped out to endorse one of the two other Fayette Countians in the race, Steve Beshear, a former state representative, Attorney General, and Lieutenant Governor, who has more recently lost races for governor and United States Senator. The other Fayette countian in the race is Gatewood Galbraith, a highly intelligent and thoroughly comical libertarian/progressive, if there is such an animal, and if there is Gatewood is it. He is one of those people who do not need a last name - if you say Gatewood, everyone knows you are talking about the perennial candidate who justifies his perennial races (actually quadrennial to be honest) by saying that Kentucky has perennial problems. Gatewood has a base of around 11% of the electorate on any given Tuesday, so he isn't likely to win, but this has been an unusual season of politics - so far, with two weeks left.

There is another fellow, an eastern Kentuckian running a limited campaign, and what campaign he is running has largely been ran while riding on the top of a huge make-believe bull, circling the Capitol building in Frankfort while aboard the makeshift Bull. His name is Otis "Bullman" Hensley. He ran last four years ago in the Primary and, despite his best efforts, will likely do so again.

That leaves the candidate I will now be supporting, former Lieutenant Governor Steve Henry, who I have known and been friends of for over two decades, since my involvement in the Kentucky Young Democrats back when I was young - a time which is seemingly moving away from me despite my efforts to impede such movement. Steve is a surgeon, although there has been some news about his present certification, or lack thereof, by the University of Louisville, where for many years he served as both surgeon and professor. He has dodged some bullets questioning some campaign finance practices, mostly surrounding how he has reported monies raised for offices for which he has not yet actually filed.

These negatives, in my mind, are easily outweighed by Steve's true dedication to the people of our Commonwealth, dedication I have personally seen manifested year after year during Steve's service here in Louisville and in Frankfort. He served as a County Commissioner on the Jefferson Fiscal Court here in the 1990s before that body, along with its counterpart Board of Aldermen in the "old" City, were consolidated into the paraphysical entity knowns as Louisville - Jefferson County Metro Council. From Louisville, he went to Frankfort to serve two terms as Kentucky's Lieutenant Governor, a quite diminutive post in its former days, dimished even moreso by a constitutional amendment adopted by the voters in November, 1992, although not with my vote, which was, as has been the case in almost all questions placed upon the ballot to amend Kentucky's 1891 Constitution, cast as a "No." But, I digress.

Steve is a native of Owensboro in Daviess County. He was educated at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green in Warren County. His acheived his medical degree at the University of Louisville, here in Jefferson County. He married Miss America, Heather French, who is from Augusta in Bracken County, as well as Maysville in Mason County. Steve owns property, and thus is a taxpayer, in all the counties above, as well several others, including Bullitt, Spencer, Mercer, and Boyle. I have often joked with him about all his hometowns, although he has not always found my comments funny. Upon entering a county, I will always ask him if he is "from here" or has some claim upon the lands in any given county. More often than not, the answer has been yes. I'll question him about the small towns and back roads of Kentucky, and more often than not, my comments are met with stories and responses proving his personal knowledge of such places and the people inhabiting them. As any of my regular readers know, the places and people of Kentucky are important entities to me, and it is apparent to me they are to Steve Henry as well. Here at home, Steve is quite well known among conservationists and park supporters for his work, along with David Jones, in establishing the Ring of Parks, so lauded by our Mayor, a trail of land proposed to link in a circumferent line of acreage thus enveloping our paraphysical city/county entity with greenspace, from the Riverwalk in downtown Louisville, out along the floodwall levees in the southwest, through the Jefferson Memorial Forest (a truly spectacular body of land) along the south, over to McNeely Lake, and along the outskirts of the Snyder Freeway back to the greenspaces along the river. It is a great plan, much supported in a very personal way by Steve Henry and his Future Fund properties.

So, with fourteen days left, and the Kentucky Derby behind us, and one less horse in the field, the race is, finally, well underway.


Anonymous said...

Henry didn't give that land up until Dan Jones sent the attorneys after Henry.

He's lied for EIGHT MONTHS about his status at the University of Louisville. He defrauded medicaid. He's lied about what his foundations do.

The man is a crook and should be indicted.

Daniel S. said...

We will have to agree to disagree on Henry.

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.