This race is getting feisty. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has all but announced his entry into the Governor’s race. During an interview earlier this week with the Lexington Herald-Leader, Comer hinted that he would announce his intentions “during the week of the annual Fancy Farm picnic in late July and early August.”
However, failed Louisville Mayoral candidate Hal Heiner has already spent $200k (up to date figures pending KREF report) to chip away at Comer’s wide lead. As I’ve been suggesting for the past year, the 2015 GOP Governor primary will make the McConnell/Bevin & Grayson/Paul showdowns look minor league. Oh, and this article supports that.
The article teases at the talking points that will likely separate the two Republican candidates during the brutal campaign. Comer insisted that Heiner was “a nice man with a good message in some areas.” He shared that the Democrats were 9-1 out of the past 10 contests for the Governor’s Mansion. He told reporter Sam Youngman that the GOP lost “not because we had candidates with a bad message. We nominated candidates that weren’t good messengers, that didn’t relate to average Kentuckians.” Hmmm, wonder if that was a reference to his primary opponent? Aka… a Louisville millionaire.
Joe Burgan, Hal Heiner’s Campaign Manager, of course disagreed that his candidate was a poor messenger. “Jamie Comer is the wrong messenger because he doesn’t have a message,” he said. Burgan reiterated a punch-line we’ve heard from most Heiner troops: “He’s spent most of his adult life as a professional politician in Frankfort.”
Both Heiner and Burgan are bracing for their first competitive primary, well, ever. The former two-term Louisville Councilman found political success in one of Jefferson County’s wealthiest neighborhoods before falling short in a razor thin loss for Metro Mayor. Since, Heiner has focused on charter school education and supporting local candidates for office. There’s no doubt, Heiner will have his hands full with convincing state GOPers that Comer is the wrong man for the job.
“I think we’ve got a great story to tell in the Department.” – Agriculture Commissioner James Comer