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With eye on 2015, Heiner to help 2014 GOP candidates

by Joe Arnold


Posted on January 29, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 29 at 5:48 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Ahead of an anticipated run for Kentucky Governor, former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner on Wednesday announced the formation of a Independent Expenditure group aimed at electing Republicans to the statehouse.

“The Kentucky House of Representatives has been controlled by a single party for almost a century,” Heiner said in a news release, “and in that time, Kentucky has fallen far behind our competitor states."

Though New Direction Kentucky is aimed at 2014 Kentucky House races, the list of names on its steering committee could be seen as a sign of support for Heiner in the expected Republican gubernatorial primary versus Agriculture Commissioner James Comer (R-Kentucky), himself a former state representative.

The New Direction Kentucky release said its initial committee members include; Bill Bishop, Darrell Brock, Doug Cobb, Jess Correll, Larry Cox, Terry Forcht, Bob Gable, Rich Gimmel, David Jones, Sr., Hilda Legg, Todd P’Pool, Bill Stone, Alecia Webb-Edgington and Mike Whitaker. 

“We expect to add new members to the organization in the coming months," Heiner said, "as we share our vision for what Kentucky could accomplish with new ideas, new leadership, and a new direction."

Both Heiner and Comer have indicated an interest in the 2015 governor's race.  Both have hedged on when each would make an announcement amid suggestions that the launch of a gubernatorial campaign could distract from the 2014 election cycle.

After Heiner, a wealthy Louisville businessman, narrowly lost the city's mayoral race in 2010, he became an outspoken advocate for education reform and charter schools.