FRANKFORT — The field of Republican candidates for governor grew to four Tuesday with the filing of Louisville businessman Matt Bevin and his running mate, Jenean Hampton of Bowling Green, the first black candidate for lieutenant governor of Kentucky.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Jack Conway of Louisville emerged from Tuesday's filing deadline for constitutional offices with no major opposition in the May 19 Democratic primary for governor. The only other Democrat who filed is Lexington retiree Geoff Young, who lost a bid last year for the Democratic nomination for Central Kentucky's 6th Congressional District.
In the Democratic primary for attorney general, Andy Beshear, the son of Gov. Steve Beshear, got a pass: The Louisville attorney has no opposition and will face one of two Republicans in the Nov. 3 general election: state Sen. Whitney Westerfield of Hopkinsville or Lawrence County Attorney Michael T. Hogan of Louisa.
Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann of Union also drew no primary opponent in the race for agriculture commissioner. In the fall, she will face one of two Republican state representatives: Richard Heath of Mayfield or Ryan Quarles of Georgetown.
Running for auditor are Democratic incumbent Adam Edelen of Lexington and Republican state Rep. Mike Harmon.
That race grew more interesting with Harmon's selection last week of Jesse Benton, former campaign aide to U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, to help his campaign.
Bevin, who lost a bid last year for the U.S. Senate in the Republican primary against incumbent Mitch McConnell, became the final candidate for governor when he filed at 2:24 p.m. Tuesday.
As Hampton stood at his side, Bevin said to her, "Very historic moment for Kentucky."
Hampton lost a bid for the state House last year against Democratic incumbent Jody Richards. She also has been active in the Tea Party.
Bevin said he and Hampton soon would release their positions on issues. Hampton said she was "honored" to be on the ticket with Bevin.
The other Republican tickets for governor and lieutenant governor are state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer of Tompkinsville and state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Taylor Mill, Louisville businessman Hal Heiner and former Urban County Council member KC Crosbie of Lexington, and former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott of Pikeville and former Menifee County Sheriff Rodney Coffey.
"The Kentucky GOP primary just became more fun than a barrel of monkeys," Scott campaign manager David Adams said in an email after Bevin entered the GOP race.
Conway said in an email that he and running mate Sannie Overly, a state representative from Paris, "are humbled that the Democratic Party stands united behind us as we seek to lead Kentucky into the future.
"Our campaign is not about us; it's about better educational opportunities for our children, better job opportunities at home, better investment in essential needs and services, and a fiscally responsible government for our people," he said.
Young filed to oppose Conway for the second time Tuesday. He had filed with running mate Cherokee Schill of Jessamine County, then withdrew from the race Tuesday and filed again with running mate Johnathan Masters, an unemployed student from Breckinridge County.
In the race for secretary of state, incumbent Alison Lundergan Grimes of Lexington faces Charles Lovett of Louisville in the Democratic primary election. Two Republicans are vying for that office: Stephen L. Knipper of Independence and Michael Pitzer of Louisville
The most crowded race is for state treasurer, with eight candidates seeking an office with few official duties.
They are Republicans Allison Ball of Prestonsburg, Kenneth Churchill Imes of Murray and Jon Larson of Lexington, and Democrats Neville Blakemore of Louisville, Jim Glenn of Owensboro, Daniel D. Grossberg of Louisville, Richard Henderson of Mount Sterling and Rick Nelson of Middlesboro.
In the race for state Supreme Court to replace Scott from Eastern Kentucky's 7th District, the three nonpartisan candidates in the May primary are former Elliott County Attorney John D. Lewis Jr. of Louisa, Appeals Court Judge Janet L. Stumbo of Prestonsburg and Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright of Whitesburg.