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Holsclaw touts proven record against partisan politics in governor's race

by Joe Arnold


Posted on January 24, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 2:45 AM

Saying she is tired of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Senate President David Williams blaming each other for the Commonwealth's problems, Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw says both are at fault, so she is offering voters an alternative.

Holsclaw and running mate Bill Vermillion plan on filing the official paperwork on Tuesday.

Vermillion has never run for office. He's a retired U.S. Navy Master Chief from Caneyville who also teaches at Shawnee High School in Louisville.

Though Holsclaw had made no secret that she was considering a run for governor, she admits that her decision is still somewhat of a surprise.

Against tall odds and just one year after professing no interest in any other office when she declined to enter the Louisville mayor's race, WHAS11 News asked Holsclaw what had changed.

"A lot of soul searching," she said, adding that she's fed up with partisan politics at the expense of progress in Frankfort.

"Somebody needs to step up," Holsclaw said, "And I'm not saying that I am the answer to it.  But I'm going to give it a shot."

As county clerk, Holsclaw says she has seen firsthand the recession's effect on Kentucky citizens, with cars and homes repossessed.  She stresses jobs, education and a message to women.

"There is a place for us at the table."

Holsclaw is running on her record as clerk of Kentucky's largest county since 1999.  She says she has returned millions of dollars back to the Metro Council and she would run the state the same way.

"I have watched your money, I have protected your money, and I have spent your money as if it were my own," Holsclaw said.

Reelected to a fourth term in November, Holsclaw received 65 percent of the vote, with more votes than anyone else in any other race on the Jefferson County ballot. 

Like primary opponents David Williams and Phil Moffett, Holsclaw is an advocate of neighborhood schools.

"I think parents should have the right to put their children in schools that they prefer to do," she said.

Yet, unlike her GOP rivals, Holsclaw says she has no problem with expanded gambling as long as the people decide.

"Kentucky is hurting and they're hurting major, but I think people have to come to the reality is, are they going to raise your taxes because they're going to get this money to operate one way or another, or are we going to have expanded gambling?"

Steve Beshear has already raised $3 million for his reelection campaign,  Williams has raised close to $1 million, and Moffett is trying to tap into Tea Party support, but Holsclaw says she just needs enough money to compete and give voters a real choice - like her first victory as county clerk 12 years ago.

"I'm the underdog. I'm not unfamiliar with that role," she said.