Politics & Government

Democrat Beshear touts Republican backers on eve of GOP unity rally

Gov. Steve Beshear fired up his re-election campaign at a Democratic Party rally on May 17, 2011, in Frankfort.
Gov. Steve Beshear fired up his re-election campaign at a Democratic Party rally on May 17, 2011, in Frankfort. ASSOCIATED PRESS

FRANKFORT — The Democratic re-election campaign of Gov. Steve Beshear rolled out the names of 70 Republicans on Friday who endorse him and said more names will be forthcoming.

The move by Beshear came on the eve of Saturday's Republican unity rally at party headquarters in Frankfort.

Friday's list of Republicans for Beshear and his running mate, former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, included former Lt. Gov. Steve Pence, former Lexington Vice Mayor and restaurateur Michael Scanlon, several mayors and Jon Ackerson, a Louisville Metro Council member and a former state representative and GOP chairman of Jefferson County.

Beshear and Abramson face the Republican slate of state Senate President David Williams and Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer in the Nov. 8 general election.

Williams' campaign manager, Scott Jennings, dismissed the move.

"No candidate in any general election gets 100 percent of the votes from their party members," Jennings said in an email. "You couldn't find enough paper to list all the Democrats who will vote against Steve Beshear because of his allegiance to the Obama agenda, and his complete failure to deliver jobs for Kentucky."

Also supporting Beshear is Jennie Lou Penn of Frankfort, daughter of the late GOP Gov. Louie Nunn and sister of former state lawmaker Steve Nunn of Glasgow, who is awaiting trial in Fayette Circuit Court in the 2009 slaying of his ex-fiancée, Amanda Ross. Steve Nunn, who was deputy secretary for the Beshear administration's Health and Family Services Cabinet, has pleaded not guilty.

Louisville councilman Ackerson said in a statement that Beshear "has risen above partisan politics to do what's right for the people of Kentucky.

"He's led by example in the area of fiscal responsibility, by balancing the budget nine times without raising broad-based taxes and he's overseeing the smallest state government in a generation," Ackerson said.

Lebanon Mayor Gary D. Crenshaw said he is a Republican for Beshear because of Beshear's "strong support of my community."

Crenshaw said he rarely gets involved in statewide races and has "nothing against" Williams and Farmer, "but I just wanted to recognize Beshear's leadership."

Crenshaw said Beshear "has never promised anything" for his support.

Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith and his running mate, Frankfort political consultant Dea Riley, are trying to get 5,000 signatures to qualify to be on the November ballot.

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