Thank you for visiting paducahsun.com, the online home of The Paducah Sun.

June 2012
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

GOP candidate Heiner bolsters coffers

BY ADAM BEAMAssociated Press

FRANKFORT - Republican governor hopeful Hal Heiner has $3.9 million in cash to spend on an election more than a year away.

But nearly all of that money came from Heiner himself, which set off an early war of words Monday with his presumptive Republican rival James Comer, the state's agriculture commissioner.

Heiner's campaign announced Monday that the Louisville businessman donated $4 million to his own campaign to go along with the $192,000 it has raised from donors since the campaign launched in March.

A spokesman for Heiner said the donation signifies Heiner is a political outsider who won't be dependent on the traditional political powerbrokers to fund his campaign. Spokesman Joe Burgan said Heiner "believes that the future of Kentucky is worth investing in."

But Comer accused Heiner of trying to buy the election.

"I'd rather have a lot of support than a lot of money," Comer said. "It looks like the only person invested in Hal Heiner is Hal Heiner."

Comer is not a candidate for governor yet. He told The Associated Press on Monday he is focused on campaigning for Republican state House of Representatives candidates as they try to win a majority there for the first time since 1920.

Heiner, meanwhile, launched his campaign in March and ran his first TV ad during the Belmont Stakes. In three months, he and running mate KC Crosbie have visited 60 of the state's 120 counties. And Heiner has said he will not hold formal fundraisers until after the November House elections.

"Jamie Comer continues to attack his fellow Republicans before deciding whether to enter the race, but 'attack first, ask questions later' seems to be the natural instinct of career politicians," Burgan wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "It reinforces the idea that status quo politics is not going to help Kentucky unlock its vast potential."

John McCarthy, former chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky, said Heiner's $4 million donation will make his campaign viable and offer him an early advantage over would-be challengers.

"But I think the campaign has to demonstrate that that can be turned into votes," McCarthy said. "It has been difficult to do that."

Comer might not sit on the sidelines much longer. He said Monday he is considering starting his campaign earlier than he had planned - but not because of Heiner.

"(House members) are starting to encourage me to think about getting in the race a little sooner just because of the fact that Democrats are all kind of unifying behind (Attorney General Jack) Conway and they don't want to see Conway elected governor," Comer said.

Heiner and Conway are the only announced candidates so far for the 2015 governor's race. They are vying to replace Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who cannot seek re-election because of state term limits. Other Democratic candidates considering running for governor include Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo, former U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, former Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo and Lexington banker Luther Deaton.

Fundraising numbers for Conway were not available yet. Candidates have until midnight Monday to file their reports with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha 5961b2abe1da4c9f8184da33e04052a2
Top Classifieds
  • PILLOW TOPmattress sets NEW in plasti ... Details
  • RUNNING, fixable, junk vehicles, equi ... Details
  • Cash for farms & gold (270)339-8 ... Details
  • Washer/Dryer, 2 Dinette Sets, Carpet ... Details
  • Duplex By Owner 3 BR 1 BA each side ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't buy p ... Details
  • Sale by Owner65 Acres inLivingston Co ... Details
  • FHA, USDA, VA & Conventional Loan ... Details
  • OPEN HOUSE 1285 Hedge Ln. OCT 11, 1-4 ... Details
  • 8 Unit Apt. Bldgs. For Sale By Owner ... Details
  • Ford Ranger '86 2WD, $1, 000 2 ... Details
  • Scarlet Red Road Glide 1 owner 33K Mi ... Details
  • Chey El Camino '80 newly restore ... Details
  • 2010 KZ Spree 32.5 ft traveltrailer w ... Details
This Week In Photos
Most Popular
  1. Shootings rock universities in Arizona, Texas
  2. Mustangs clinch district on Senior Night
  3. Nobel Peace Prize gives Tunisia boost
  1. Christian Fellowship founders reflect on work
  2. McCracken District Court
  3. Wreck sends teen to hospital
  1. Shootings rock universities in Arizona, Texas
  2. Mustangs clinch district on Senior Night
  3. Nobel Peace Prize gives Tunisia boost

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...