In the race for governor, Steve Beshear will be up for re-election in the Democratic primary.
Beshear was first elected in 2007 after defeating incumbent Republican Ernie Fletcher. Beshear ran with Hazard resident Dr. Daniel Mongiardo as his running mate, but following the 2010 election during which Mongiardo waged an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate, Beshear will now have a new running mate in former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.
Beshear will have full coffers with which to fund his re-election effort. His campaign reported this month a fourth quarter fundraising effort that netted $450,000, with more than $3 million in fundraising so far.
On the Republican ticket, Senate President David Williams and his running mate, Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, a Clay County native, have been making waves with their campaign, focusing more on criticism of Gov. Beshear than their primary opponents, Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw.
Moffett is the TEA Party candidate, while Holsclaw has spent her political career in local office in Jefferson County.
Perennial candidate Gatewood Galbraith also joined the election as an independent candidate for governor.
Another statewide office up for grabs is the Office of Attorney General, and Jack Conway has filed to retain that office.
Conway held the headlines in Kentucky for much of the 2010 political season during his unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate. He defeated Lt. Gov. Mongiardo in the Democratic primary, but lost to Republican TEA Party candidate Rand Paul in November.
Conway was first elected as attorney general in 2007. In a statement released last week, Conway said he is looking forward to his re-election bid and continuing the work he began in the office upon his initial election.
“I became involved in public service because I care about Kentucky and I want to make our Commonwealth a safer and better place to live,” he said.
Hopkins County Attorney Todd P’Pool has also filed to seek the attorney general’s office. P’Pool’s name will appear on the Republican ticket.
Kentucky will have a new Secretary of State following the 2011 election as current Secretary of State Trey Grayson’s name will not be on the ballot. Lexington attorney Alison Lundergan Grimes threw her hat in the ring on the Democratic ticket last week, as did Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker.
On the Republican side, TEA Partier Bill Johnson, a Todd County resident who briefly ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010, and Hilda Legg, an economic development leader, filed to run for the office.
Kentucky will also have a new state Auditor as term limits prevented Crit Luallen from running for re-election. Former Beshear chief of staff Adam Edelen will be seeking election on the Democratic ticket.
Republican challengers for state auditor include John T. Kemper III and state lawmaker Addia Wuchner.
Other offices up for grabs are the Commission of Agriculture and State Treasurer. There will be no local races in Perry County this year.