Would-be independent gubernatorial candidate Drew Curtis is making the trip to Fancy Farm in far Western Kentucky this weekend, and he said he has a speech prepared just in case.
Organizers of the annual picnic, where politicians often make their fieriest speeches of the year, haven't invited him onto the stage, but the founder of alternative news website Fark.com said he wants to be ready.
If nothing else, Curtis said, he can just give the speech and put it on YouTube.
If that seems like an unconventional approach, then it sums up Curtis' campaign in a nutshell.
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In an interview Tuesday with the Herald-Leader, Curtis said he already has more than the requisite number of signatures needed to get on the ballot this fall, but he is working hard to add to those numbers to ensure success.
Curtis said his campaign has nearly 6,000 signatures, about 1,000 more than the 5,000 needed. But he's aiming for 8,500 or, "if we get lucky," 12,000.
He plans to file his petition with the secretary of state near Aug. 11, the last day a candidate can get on the ballot for the general election.
"But we're going to hit it," he said.
In the meantime, Curtis is forging ahead as if he's already on the ballot.
He has released a plan to deal with the state's pension crisis, and he said Tuesday that he's working on detailed plans to create jobs and reform the tax code.
It's conventional wisdom that the state's tax code is a mess, and Curtis said that once he studied it, he thought: "Holy crap. They're not kidding."
The two major party candidates — Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin — are rounding out the summer with a series of joint appearances at forums, but Curtis has not been invited to attend.
Curtis said he understands that organizations hosting forums must have rules about whom to invite. Otherwise, he said, they might end up with a "neo-Nazi" alongside more serious candidates.
"I understand," Curtis said. "And it kind of sucks. (But) nobody who actually votes pays attention until the last three weeks."
As he nears a formal entrance in the race, Curtis is drawing the attention of some Democrats who worry that he will play a spoiler role this fall, drawing voters away from Conway and swinging the election to Bevin.
To that, Curtis has a simple response: "I don't think he can beat Bevin, period."
"I'm not stealing votes. They're not his," Curtis said. "The main problem is he's not a good candidate, and that's why he's not winning."
Curtis said that when he is included in polls, the support he receives appears to come from voters in both political parties.
"I'm hearing the same thing from the other side, too," he said.
Participating in the political process has been revealing in its frustrations and disappointments, but Curtis said he is enjoying his time as a candidate. "It helps that I'm an extrovert," he said.