A bankruptcy attorney and a state representative, both hailing from Eastern Kentucky, will face off for state treasurer this fall.
Prestonsburg bankruptcy lawyer Allison Ball garnered the Republican nomination in Tuesday's primary, and Rick Nelson, a state representative and retired teacher from Middlesboro, won the Democratic spot.
Term limits prevented the current state treasurer, Todd Hollenbach of Louisville, from seeking re-election.
"My whole focus is always on getting people out of debt and on sound financial footing," Ball said Tuesday night.
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Now, she said, her main goal would be to help get the commonwealth on solid ground economically.
"There's only so much I can do one on one," she said. "Real change needs to come from Frankfort."
Ball defeated Lexington attorney and former Fayette County judge-executive Jon Larson, who wants to abolish the state treasurer's office, and state Rep. Kenneth Imes of Murray.
Ball, who also spent four years as assistant Floyd County attorney, said she wanted to return the office to a watchdog role.
"The treasurer's office is supposed to be a watchdog," she said. "It really hasn't been for decades now."
Ball, 33, attributed the fact that voters selected her not only to her message of fiscal responsibility but to the momentum in the Republican party right now.
"It's good to have youth and energy," she said.
Nelson bested four other candidates — Neville Blakemore, Jim Glenn, Daniel Grossberg and Richard Henderson — to win the Democratic nomination.
"It was a good clean race," he said. "That's what we need more of."
Nelson thanked supporters, from organized labor, teachers and retired teachers and Eastern Kentuckians, for giving him the win, despite the fact that he had the smallest budget in the Democratic field of contenders.
"We put together a pretty good team," he said.
He has said he wants to make sure the office keeps close checks on state spending and provides transparency about it.
Nelson, 60, who has served in the legislature since 2001, said Tuesday night that his background as a teacher would serve him well in the treasurer's office because the treasurer sits on the board of the Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System, as well as the board of the Kentucky Lottery, which provides Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships to Kentucky students.
"We need to keep that solvent," Nelson said.
If elected, he said, he would like to do more to educate Kentucky students about finances. He said he would like to set up a schedule to visit high schools to talk to students about personal finance.
"You've gotta get out and make it important," he said.