31 file for statewide office in Kentucky ahead of deadline

By ADAM BEAM , Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Statewide elections in Kentucky were finalized Tuesday as the Secretary of State closed the door on the filing period in one of three states scheduled to elect governors in 2019.
Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes closed the door to her office at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, marking the ceremonial end to the candidate filing deadline for the 2019 election. Kentucky voters will elect a governor, lieutenant governor, agriculture commissioner, treasurer, secretary of state, attorney general and auditor in 2019.
Thirty-one people filed for those offices, including 14 Republicans and 17 Democrats. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is seeking a second term. Three Republicans — William Woods, Ike Lawrence and state Rep. Robert Goforth — have filed to challenge him in the GOP primary.
Four Democrats are running for governor, including Attorney General Andy Beshear, state House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, former Auditor Adam Edelen and former state employee Geoff Young.
In the down-ballot races, all Republican incumbents filed for re-election. Grimes, a Democrat, cannot seek re-election because of term limits. And Beshear, the Democratic attorney general, is not seeking re-election because of plans to run for governor.
Heather French Henry, a former Miss America and former commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs, is running for secretary of state as a Democrat. And Drew Curtis, an independent candidate for governor in 2015 and the founder of the website Fark.com, filed to run for state auditor as a Democrat.
The race for governor will get most of the attention this year. While Bevin is seeking a second term, he dropped Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton from the ticket and replaced her with state Sen. Ralph Alvarado. Hampton has not commented on the switch.
Bevin, speaking with WHAS radio host Terry Meiners a few minutes after the filing deadline passed, said he has “zero concern with anything (Hampton) has done or not done as lieutenant governor.”
“What you need sometimes in the first four years is different than what you need in the next four,” Bevin said. “I look forward to a different trajectory in a second term.”
Bevin has said he is not concerned with the GOP primary in May, despite drawing three challengers and attracting criticism from some Republicans in recent weeks. That included comments from Republican U.S. Rep. James Comer, who decided against challenging Bevin in the primary but said “Kentucky deserves better than a Governor who belittles anyone who disagrees with him.”
The governor dismissed Comer’s criticism as “sour grapes.” He then appeared to reference an incident from the 2015 campaign when a former girlfriend of Comer’s accused him of physically abusing her. Comer has denied the allegations.
“It’s amazing how many of these people have problems in their past behavior toward women,” Bevin told WHAS radio host Terry Meiners on Tuesday. “It seems to catch up with them when they run for office.”
Comer did not respond to a request for comment.

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