FRANKFORT — Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott of Pikeville said Thursday he was being encouraged to run for governor next year but has not decided whether to enter the race.
"Right now, I'm just listening. Many people have asked me to run and are encouraging me, but I've made no decision," Scott, a Republican, said during a telephone interview.
Scott, 67, predicted that a Bluegrass Poll released this week "will draw some other people into the race."
The poll found that 77 percent of voters didn't know enough about Republicans Hal Heiner or James Comer to form a favorable or unfavorable opinion of them. Heiner, a former Louisville Metro councilman, has entered the race; Comer, the state agriculture commissioner, is expected to announce this weekend that he intends to run.
Attorney General Jack Conway, a Democrat, also has entered the race. Sixty-one percent of poll respondents had either a neutral or no opinion of Conway.
Others who have been mentioned as possible candidates for governor include former Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, former U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler and banker Luther Deaton for the Democrats, and former U.S. Ambassador to Latvia Cathy Bailey and former U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin for the Republicans.
Scott said he would attend Saturday's Fancy Farm political picnic in Graves County. It traditionally kicks off fall campaigns in Kentucky and is a must-be-place for aspiring candidates.
"I'll be going there to keep my eye on Justice Cunningham," joked Scott. Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham of Lyon County will emcee this year's political speaking at Fancy Farm.
Scott said he hoped to make a decision about running for governor in the fall.
"If I ever make a decision to run, I should and would step down immediately from the bench," he said.
Scott was elected to the Supreme Court, the state's highest court, in November 2004 to represent the 7th District. It consists of 22 counties in Eastern Kentucky. He served as deputy chief justice from 2006 to 2010.
Scott was a circuit judge from 1984 to 1988. Before being a judge, he practiced law as a trial attorney from 1975 to 1980 and was an assistant commonwealth's attorney for Pike County from 1981 to 1982.
He has made unsuccessful runs for Congress and state attorney general.
Scott, a native of Pike County, attended Eastern Kentucky University for a year before volunteering for service in the Army in 1966. He was a first lieutenant in Vietnam.
After his military service, Scott received a bachelor's degree from Pikeville College and a law degree from the University of Miami in Florida.