FRANKFORT — The independent campaign of Gatewood Galbraith and Dea Riley in this year's governor and lieutenant governor elections plans to enter the race officially Thursday, even though campaign manager Ralph Long announced his departure Friday.
Riley, a Frankfort political consultant, said Galbraith, a Lexington attorney, plans to submit about 7,500 signatures to the secretary of state's office on Thursday to get on the Nov. 8 ballot. Five thousand signatures are needed.
Riley also said the campaign knew that Long would be departing as its manager.
Long, of Lexington, said in an email Friday that he is "no longer associated with the Gatewood and Riley 2011 campaign." He did not elaborate.
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Riley said Long helped in gathering signatures to get the campaign on the ballot and expects that he will have input into the campaign as it progresses. "I think the world of him," she said.
As far as a new campaign manager, Riley said, "we've been approached by several people about that, but I really don't know."
She said the campaign already has five leadership teams in place, "and may not need a campaign manager."
Long is a political blogger and former state employee. He was chief information officer and principal assistant to former state Auditor Ed Hatchett. He also has worked in several state and local campaigns and ran for the state House of Representatives in 2004.
Galbraith, who unsuccessfully has sought several political offices, is running for governor against Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican Senate President David Williams.