FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear has decided not to attend what organizers had hoped would be a rare appearance Sunday in Louisville of all three candidates for governor on the same stage.
Beshear, Republican Senate President David Williams and independent Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith had been invited to speak at a public forum organized by the Yearlings Club-University of Louisville discussion series.
The three candidates have been on stage together only once this election cycle. That was at last month's Fancy Farm political picnic in Graves County. Williams, who trails Beshear in the polls, has accused the Democratic incumbent of dodging him at several public forums.
A news release from the U of L group earlier this week said Beshear and Galbraith had accepted invitations to participate and Williams had not yet responded.
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A spokesman for the Williams campaign said late Tuesday he would be present.
A spokesman for the Beshear campaign said shortly afterward Tuesday that no decision had yet been made on whether Beshear would attend.
Matt Erwin, a spokesman for the Beshear campaign, said Wednesday that Beshear "will not be able to attend the event."
Asked why not, Erwin declined to elaborate.
Galbraith's campaign said he will be there with his running mate, Dea Riley of Frankfort.
The "Conversation with Candidates for Governor" event will run from 4 to 6 p.m. at the NIA Center at 2900 West Broadway in Louisville.
Blaine Hudson, dean of U of L's College of Arts and Sciences, will moderate the free, public discussion.
The Yearlings Club and the College of Arts and Sciences organize an annual discussion series aimed at bringing people in Louisville together with U of L faculty members to explore issues. The club is devoted to civic responsibility, community service and leadership development.