Politics & Government

Hollenbach wins Democratic primary for treasurer

State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach being sworn into office by Chief Judge SaraWalter Combs (not pictured) at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort, Ky.  Monday January 7, 2008.  Photo by Joseph Rey Au  4798
State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach being sworn into office by Chief Judge SaraWalter Combs (not pictured) at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort, Ky. Monday January 7, 2008. Photo by Joseph Rey Au 4798 LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER

Incumbent L.J. "Todd" Hollenbach on Tuesday won the Democratic primary for Kentucky state treasurer over Hopkinsville business owner Steve Hamrick.

With 77 percent of votes counted, Hollenbach led Hamrick 72 percent to 28 percent.

Hollenbach, 50, now faces Urban County Councilwoman KC Crosbie, a Lexington Republican, in the November general election. Crosbie had no Republican primary opponent.

"I'm happy that even though there's a low turnout, I think a lot of people that are paying attention to what's going on and who's been doing a good job did come out to vote," said Hollenbach.

As the state's chief elected fiscal officer, the state treasurer is the keeper of the state's checkbook and monitors the state's investments. The treasurer issues roughly 10 million checks and seven million electronic transfers a year and keeps track of deposits.

The treasurer also oversees the state's Unclaimed Property Fund and sits on several state boards, including those for the Kentucky Lottery and the Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System.

Hollenbach, who is paid $108,720 a year, is a lawyer from Louisville. He shares the name of his father, former Jefferson County Judge-Executive Todd Hollenbach.

In the primary campaign, Hamrick questioned whether Hollenbach was running his office efficiently. Hollenbach said Tuesday after he won that he increased efficiency as his budget was cut from about $3.2 million to $2.8 million a year.

To accommodate budget cuts, Hollenbach has said, he did not hire a press secretary, and he eliminated the travel budget for himself and senior aides.

Of Crosbie's chances, Transylvania University political scientist Don Dugi said: "Obviously she has a chance ... But you are talking about a statewide office. Her power base is primarily in Lexington. So just in terms of urban power bases, Louisville is a bigger one than Lexington, and Hollenbach is a Louisvillian."

Crosbie, 41, said Tuesday she would do a better job in the office than Hollenbach and would be more visible.

"I'll bring fiscally conservative financial-management practices to this office. We will do more with less," she said.

Hollenbach said he kept a low profile because he was "taking care of the people's business" and bringing the office up to date in reconciling accounts.

As of Tuesday, Hollenbach reported raising $63,479 in campaign donations to Crosbie's $57,510. Hamrick raised $7,210.

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