Beshear: 2 KET candidate forums not much to ask

At this point, Gov. Steve Beshear doesn't appear in danger of losing reelection. His closest challenger is 20 or 27 points behind, depending on what poll you read.

But he comes off looking not secure, but rather arrogant, for his unwillingness to participate in both KET candidate forums before the November elections. He has agreed to the Oct. 31 date but not the Sept. 26 one about education issues.

The KET debates are one of the only opportunities for statewide attention to the race.

Showing up demonstrates respect for the voters, respect for the educational mission of the state's public television network, and respect for the democratic process.

Understandably, Beshear has been keeping his distance from Republican Sen. David Williams and independent attorney Gatewood Galbraith throughout the campaign year. No incumbent with a comfortable lead would attend a series of debates around the state that could give his opponents stature.

But it is now less than two months to Election Day, and voters deserve the opportunity to see all the candidates side-by-side in civilized forums focused on pressing state issues.

And, no matter what anyone thinks of their election chances, both Williams and Galbraith are capable of intelligent discussion about the state's future.

Perhaps Beshear has been spoiled by his first run for office against Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who imploded under the weight of his own administrative mistakes.

But Beshear may later find he is also making a mistake.

Winning because people didn't like the challengers is not the same as winning because people believe in the incumbent.

He should reconsider his decision.