FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear predicted a convincing win in Tuesday's election, even as challengers David Williams and Gatewood Galbraith spent Monday trying to excite voters with more criticisms of the Democratic governor.
Williams, a Republican, accused Beshear of not telling Kentuckians the truth about the state's finances, and Galbraith, an independent, told supporters that he and running mate Dea Riley will pull off the biggest upset of Tuesday's election by besting Williams for second place.
Beshear, who enjoys a large lead in all publicly released polling, was in Somerset on Monday morning to announce a new $1 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. He spent Monday evening at a pre-election rally in Louisville.
Speaking to a handful of supporters at Blue Grass Airport, Williams touted a story in The Courier-Journal on Monday that said Beshear has not yet identified how he will find $189 million in savings that is required by the state budget this fiscal year.
Four months after the fiscal year began in July, Beshear has yet to make those cuts, said Williams, the state Senate president from Burkesville. Beshear also has relied on one-time revenue, such as selling state property, to balance this year's books. That means he can't use those tricks next year, Williams said.
Kentucky's budget is not balanced, Williams said.
"It's a shame and a disgrace," Williams said of Beshear's assertion that he has balanced the state's budget nine times during his first term. "Steve Beshear has misled the people of Kentucky. ... Steve Beshear has run a fraudulent campaign."
Beshear dismissed Williams' comments as desperate.
"People that are desperate and who are in bad shape in the polls are probably going to say anything," Beshear told reporters before speaking at an American Legion hall in Louisville on Monday night.
Beshear, who was scheduled to appear alongside the other Democratic candidates for statewide office, said his administration has balanced the budget nine times and will balance it again.
He predicted that he and Abramson "are going to win pretty convincingly."
"If we win big, I would take it as a clear rejection of partisan politics and the type of obstruction that we've seen many times over the last 10 years," Beshear said of Williams, who has been president of the state Senate since 2000. "I think people are sick and tired of that kind of divisive politics."
Meanwhile, Republican candidates for statewide office tried to drum up support during stops in Lexington, Louisville, Hazard, Owensboro, Paducah and Burkesville. Voter turnout is predicted to be less than 30 percent, one of the lowest turnouts in recent years.
Beshear's lead over Williams has some Republicans worried about the possibility of a Democratic sweep in down-ballot races for auditor, secretary of state, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture and treasurer.
Republican John Kemper, running against Democrat Adam Edelen for state auditor, said Monday that internal polls show that Republican candidates are gaining momentum. He said his polling shows that he and Edelen, Beshear's former chief of staff, are neck-and-neck. He did not provide documents to back up the claim.
Galbraith, a Lexington attorney, and Riley spent Monday doing media interviews, although Galbraith met with a client in Stanford before an interview on WEKY 1340 AM and WIRV 1550 AM in Richmond.
Riley and Galbraith told radio host Ron Lykins that they have a lot of support despite raising very little money and depending on a volunteer-only staff.
Galbraith predicted that he and Riley will place second. Williams, he said, is "toast."
This is Galbraith's fifth run for governor.
Asked whether he would run again if he places second, Galbraith, 64, said he would first "have to find a fountain of youth."