Jack Conway announces run for governor


by Joe Arnold


Posted on May 6, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 7 at 5:28 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The first Democrat to enter the race for Kentucky Governor's race made his announcement Tuesday.

In a nearly six minute video released at 11:30 Tuesday morning on Youtube, Jack Conway made it official.

"I'm announcing that I am a candidate for governor," Conway said in the video.  "It's a job I'm prepared to do. And I offer you a plan for our future."

It was not a matter of if, but when, Conway would announce his run for the 2015 race. 

Conway's running mate was also revealed in the video. Conway announced his pick is Paris Democratic representative Sannie Overly, who is the first woman to serve in the House Democratic Leadership.

Conway says their focus is education and jobs, calling for increased funding K-12 and for higher education.

"We must stop pricing the cost beyond the reach of many families," he said about the rising cost of tuition.  "Too much student loan debt coupled with too few jobs creates despair."

“As a father, every day I am reminded that building the best future possible must be our life’s work – not only for our children, but for everyone,”  General Conway said. 

He's also pledging more investment in infrastructure, from roads to broadband.

Despite the promises of more money for those areas of the budget, Conway insists he can do it in a fiscally responsible way.

Conway joins Republican Hal Heiner as the only candidates to declare for the 2015 race.

The Heiner campaign says Conway is a Frankfort insider and more of the same.

Other Democrats considering the race are Auditor Adam Edelen, who says his announcement will come only after a JCPS audit is released in the next month, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, Former Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo and former Congressman Ben Chandler.

Conway enters the race with the highest name recognition.

When you're starting out with other folks who are thinking about running in the Democratic primary, I don't think anybody will be close," said Sherman Brown, a Democratic analyst.

Any campaign has a lot of time to make up for lost ground or name recognition, the gubernatorial primary is still over a year away.

Both Stumbo and Mongiardo have said a Democrat should not enter the race too early and distract from races on the ballot this fall, in particular the battle for the Kentucky House and the U.S. Senate race.