Governor: Steve Beshear
Gov. Steve Beshear has provided steady, scandal-free leadership during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The crash forced him to cut more than $1 billion in spending and limited his agenda to a modest one. What he has done is commendable, starting with strengthening the executive branch ethics code and cleaning up the Transportation Cabinet, making road-building decisions more rational and cost-conscious. He also made it possible for 60,000 more children to receive regular health care and avoided slashing the base funding for public schools. Nothing in his Republican challenger's legislative record or ideas suggest he'd be any better at getting things done. His Independent challenger is a perennial candidate with little experience to recommend him as the state's chief executive.
Attorney General: Jack Conway
Jack Conway has done a solid job as Kentucky's attorney general, especially in consumer protection, and wants to work on better coordination of interstate monitoring of prescription pill abuse. His knowledgeable, analytical approach to management of the almost 200-person agency is well suited to this kind of challenge, just as it helped him keep an earlier promise to fight child pornography on the Internet. His county-attorney challenger expresses more interest in using the AG's office to fight against the federal government.
Auditor of Public Accounts: Adam Edelen
Adam Edelen's background in both the public and private sectors provides a range of experience that should serve him well as state auditor. As a former top aide to Gov. Steve Beshear, he knows how state government works, knowledge that's critical to the office charged with telling us if our government is doing its work as it should. Increasingly, government services are outsourced and here Edelen's background in the for-profit world should also be helpful. His opponent has limited public service experience and personal financial troubles.