FRANKFORT — Saying Kentuckians are "so disgusted with the status quo" in Frankfort, Gatewood Galbraith turned in 7,396 signatures with the secretary of state's office Thursday morning to become an independent candidate in this year's race for governor.
Galbraith, a Lexington attorney, needed 5,000 signatures to get on the Nov. 8 ballot with his running mate, Dea Riley, a Frankfort marketing consultant.
Mary Sue Helm, with the secretary of state's office, said a few hours later that 7,094 of the signatures were certified with all necessary information and that Galbraith and Riley were official candidates.
Any opposing candidate or registered Kentucky voter could challenge the signatures, but Helm said they appear in order for filing to run. Galbraith and Riley paid a $500 filing fee.
This marks the fifth time Galbraith has run for governor. He also has run for agriculture commissioner, U.S. representative and attorney general.
Galbraith, 64, said he has no concerns about being a perennial candidate. "Kentucky has perennial problems," he said.
Riley, 43, is making her first bid for public office.
Galbraith is widely known for his support of legalizing and regulating marijuana. But he called that issue "passé" Thursday and said he is concentrating on other issues, such as tax reform.
Campaigns of the two other candidates for governor — Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican Senate President David Williams — had no comment on Galbraith's campaign.
Galbraith said his candidacy is more likely to hurt Williams because he is a conservative and the Tea Party movement in Kentucky has nowhere else to turn. He said he is disappointed with President Obama and believes he is moving the country toward socialism.
On the controversial issue of mountaintop-removal coal mining, Galbraith said he opposes the practice.
Asked about the millions Beshear and Williams will have for their campaigns, Galbraith said he will have enough.
"If your vote is not for sale, what difference does it make how much money the other person has?" he asked, adding that "word-of-mouth will be huge in this race" and that he will be campaigning every day.
Riley said she agreed to be Galbraith's running mate "because he's right on the issues."