Politics & Government

Finance secretary will not run for state office in 2011

Jonathan Miller is finance and administration secretary under Gov. Steve Beshear.
Jonathan Miller is finance and administration secretary under Gov. Steve Beshear.

FRANKFORT — Kentucky Finance and Administration Secretary Jonathan Miller said Monday he has decided he will not be a candidate for any statewide office in 2011.

Miller said he had discussed with Gov. Steve Beshear earlier this year the possibility of being appointed state attorney general if Democrat Jack Conway had won the U.S. Senate race.

"I told the governor I would keep my mind open about that," Miller said.

That became moot last month when Republican Rand Paul defeated Conway.

Miller, during an interview in his Capitol Annex office, said he now "can't see pursuing any elective office any time in the near future."

Asked whether he wants to stay on as Beshear's finance secretary, Miller, 43, of Lexington, said: "I told the governor when he first asked me to take this job in 2007 that I would give him one to two years. We're at three now.

"I know never to say never. I told him I really would doubt being involved in a second term, and I'm very confident he's going to get a second term, but again, I don't want ever to say never."

Beshear is running for re-election in 2011. Four others also have announced for the office — Republicans David Williams and Phil Moffett, Democrat Otis "Bullman" Hensley Jr. and independent Gatewood Galbraith.

Miller said he will support Beshear's re-election efforts. "I feel very strongly about it and will help out the best way I can," he said.

Miller stressed he is not closing the door on another run for elective office, "just not next year and probably not in 2012, either."

After losing a primary bid for Central Kentucky's 6th Congressional District in 1998, Miller was elected state treasurer in 1999 and 2003. He dropped out of the 2007 Democratic primary election for governor to endorse Beshear's campaign.

Miller joked Monday that he "might go through the Steve Beshear plan and run for governor 20 years after first running for the office."

Miller also noted that he and his wife, Lisa, have two daughters in high school. "I've really enjoyed the last three years with them, not having to be away from home so much to run for an office," he said.

"I don't think there's a job that I could run for that would be greater than this job I have now."