Politics & Government

Greg Stumbo considering a campaign to get his job back as Kentucky attorney general

Former Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo is considering a campaign to get his job back as the state’s chief law enforcement official.

Stumbo, who was attorney general from 2004 to 2008 and speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 2009 to 2017, said Thursday in a telephone interview that he is “looking at” running next year for attorney general.

“Many people have asked me about it, have encouraged me to run and, yes, I’m considering it,” said Stumbo, a Democrat who now is an attorney for the law firm of Morgan & Morgan.

“My passion is to finish the opioid litigation that I started as attorney general,” said Stumbo, 67. “I was the first attorney general to sue a drug manufacturer. I have seen the damage they can do. I have seen families devastated by the opioid problem.”

He said the state can use proceeds from the such lawsuits “for treatment, to take care of the people harmed.”

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg. File photo

Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat, is running for governor next year.

No one has filed yet to run for the office. The filing deadline is 4 p.m. Jan. 29.

State Sen. Whitney Westerfield, a Hopkinsville Republican who lost a narrow race to Beshear in 2015, has said he will seek the seat.

A native of Floyd County, Stumbo was a member of the state House from 1980 to 2003, before becoming attorney general.

As attorney general, Stumbo led an investigation into the hiring practices of Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher. A grand jury issued several indictments against members of Fletcher’s staff, and eventually against Fletcher himself. Fletcher issued pardons for staffers who were indicted, but not himself. Charges against Fletcher were dismissed by agreement with the prosecutors.

Stumbo was the running mate for Louisville businessman Bruce Lunsford in the 2007 Democratic gubernatorial primary but that ticket lost to Steve Beshear and Daniel Mongiardo. He was defeated in his re-election bid for the state House in November 2016.

Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo, left, and Kentucky House Speaker Jody Richards, listen as Gov. Ernie Fletcher spoke at the 2005 Fancy Farm picnic. Herald-Leader