LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- One week after his most likely Democratic primary opponent decided against entering the Kentucky governor's race, Attorney General Jack Conway announced three key endorsements on Thursday which could discourage any other Democrats from challenging him in 2015.
Former Sen. Wendell Ford (D-KY), former Kentucky Auditor Crit Luallen and Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY) all disclosed their endorsements of the Conway-Overly ticket in a news release from the campaign.
“I am humbled to receive the endorsements of three people who have been so dedicated to standing up for Kentuckians and fighting for the working men and women of our Commonwealth,” Conway said in a statement. “I am honored to call each of them my friend, and I value their integrity and commitment to Kentucky and its people.”
The endorsements cap a pivotal week for Conway's campaign, which enjoyed support from dozens of influential co-hosts listed on invitations for two major fundraisers, on Tuesday night in Louisville and Wednesday night in Lexington. Conway's fundraising totals since announcing his candidacy May 6 should be known next month in a quarterly report required by Kentucky election law.
The size of Conway's campaign cash haul may also discourage potential challengers, including former Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo, former U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Lexington banker Luther Deaton.
I know his experience has prepared him for the job of moving Kentucky forward,” Ford said.
In his statement, Ford acknowledged that Conway's 2015 campaign push comes as Democrats are engaged in 2014 battles.
"As we prepare for the 2015 Governor’s race, we also must remain focused on our immediate priority of helping elect Alison Lundergan Grimes to the United States Senate and keeping the Democratic majority in Kentucky’s House of Representatives," Ford wrote.
“Jack Conway has the intellect, the integrity, and the vision to be one of the best Governors the state has seen," Luallen said.
“I’m proud to endorse Jack because I know he has the knowledge and experience we need to provide new opportunities for Kentuckians, create good-paying jobs, and lead our Commonwealth into the future,” Yarmuth said.