Politics & Government

GOP gubernatorial candidates stick close to home on eve of primary

Top row: Matt Bevin, left, and James Comer.
Bottom row: Hal Heiner, left, and Will T. Scott.
Top row: Matt Bevin, left, and James Comer. Bottom row: Hal Heiner, left, and Will T. Scott. Photos provided

There's no place like home. And in the final hours of a vicious battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, that's where the candidates slowly made their way Monday.

With the race too close to call in the final hours before polls open for the primary election Tuesday, the four candidates for the GOP nomination mostly spent their last day on the campaign trail close to home, thanking supporters for their efforts and focusing on turning out the vote.

It was a quiet end to a campaign full of sound and fury, including allegations of dirty tricks and domestic violence.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Louisville businessman Hal Heiner spent some time in the battleground of southeastern Kentucky before heading back to their respective corners of the state.

Comer visited Richmond, London, Somerset and James town, working his way home to Western Kentucky with visits in Columbia and Glasgow.

Comer, who has spent the past two weeks denying allegations that he abused his college girlfriend, planned to spend the night at home in Tompkinsville, where he will vote Tuesday morning before heading to his election-night party in Frankfort.

Heiner started near his home base in Louisville before heading to Monticello, London, Corbin and Lexington, where he thanked his supporters before heading to his last event in the parking lot of his company, Capstone Realty.

Matt Bevin, who spent the day before last year's primary flying around the state in a last-ditch effort to knock off U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, stayed close to home in Louisville, planning a stop in Northern Kentucky on Election Day.

Bevin spent Monday rallying volunteers to keep making phone calls and knocking on doors, and he released a 60-second television ad statewide that called on Kentuckians to do their civic duty and vote.

Recently retired state Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott, the long shot in the race, also stayed close to home, spending the day campaigning in Pike County.

Of all the candidates, Democrat Jack Conway unveiled the most ambitious schedule after months of lying low.

Conway planned to vote in Louisville on Tuesday morning before having lunch with supporters in Covington, visiting small businesses in Lexington and holding a news conference in Frankfort after the polls closed.

Conway's schedule was a reminder that the real contest starts Wednesday.