LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) -- Three term U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky Second Congressional District) launched his bid for re-election on Tuesday with the simultaneous revelation that he will not run for Kentucky governor in 2015.
“I am not running for any state office in 2015, although I was humbled by the number of people who asked me to run for Governor,” Guthrie said in a statement. “I went to Washington solve big problems and to leave a better America behind for the next generation. I’ve spent every day doing that and I feel that my time and energy is best spent on solving the big financial and economic problems we face as a nation,” Guthrie said.
Guthrie and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer have been frequently mentioned as potential Republican candidates for governor.
“I believe the Republican Party has many excellent people considering running in 2015 and I wish them all well," Guthrie said. "Our state faces many problems, especially in Medicaid, public pensions, and education. My hope is that all of the gubernatorial candidates from both parties put forward bold platforms that actually move our state forward. Standing still is not an option in Washington or Frankfort if our people are to prosper and our children and grandchildren are to inherit the kinds of opportunities we all want for them."
Guthrie, a Bowling Green business owner and former state senator, has held the congressional seat since 2009. The Second Congressional District encompasses 18 Central Kentucky counties and portions of three others.
Ron Leach, a recently retired U.S. Army Major and Breckenridge County farmer, announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination last week. No other candidates have emerged.
“The America I fought for believed it was important to take care of American workers and local and small businesses," Leach said in his July 8 announcement. The Congress I am fighting to change has forgotten that. They only care about themselves, and their rich and powerful friends."
Leach's Federal Election Commission filing indicates he is starting at a tremendous campaign cash disadvantage. Leach reports no contributions.
Guthrie's quarterly federal election financial report report shows $1.15 million cash on hand after having already raised $571,752.06 for the 2014 election cycle, including $372,162.56 in the second quarter.
“I am humbled by the support we’ve received from across the district and state,” said Guthrie, “and am grateful for the trust people have placed in me to represent their values in Washington and to solve some of the nation’s most pressing problems.”
Guthrie’s campaign also launched a video called “Next Time is Right Now.” It is available on his campaign’s website and Facebook page: www.BrettGuthrie.com.
Leach's campaign said it plans kickoff events across the district on Saturday, July 20. The campaign’s website, www.ronleach4ky.com, was launched last week.