The Richmond Register

State News

January 19, 2011

Williams-Farmer ticket is official

Frankfort — FRANKFORT — Kentucky Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, and his running mate, Commissioner of Agriculture Richie Farmer, made it official Monday. They filed paperwork to run for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively.

The two men were accompanied by their wives and children and campaign chair Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Donald Storm. Signing their candidacy papers were Republican state Representatives Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green and Julie Raque Adams of Louisville.

In a brief news conference after filing their papers with the Secretary of State, both men said jobs will be the campaign’s number one priority.

“Obviously people are concerned about Kentucky’s lack of job creation and job retention,” Williams said. “We’ll have an agenda, it’ll be a proactive agenda and it will take risks to create jobs.” Williams alluded to a package of bills he pushed through the state Senate in the first week of the General Assembly, one piece of which was a reform of the tax code that he wants to use to eliminate corporate and individual income taxes and replace them with consumption taxes.

“We have to have a comprehensive reform of our tax system in this state, and we have to have a governor and lieutenant governor who are focused full-time, all the time, on creation of job opportunities for all Kentuckians,” Williams said.

He again said, Kentucky “is adrift,” and said incumbent Gov. Steve Beshear has “no agenda, he has no ideas.” The pension system, the tax system, “everything’s OK,” according to Beshear, Williams said.

Williams is the first Republican to file for governor, although Louisville businessman Phil Moffett has been actively campaigning and trying to raise money. Beshear and his running mate, former Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson, have filed on the Democratic side. Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith is running as an Independent but has not yet filed.

Williams and Farmer announced in September they intended to run, but also announced at the time they would not actively raise money during the U.S. Senate campaign last fall. Shortly after the election, they held a fundraiser that raised more than $600,000 and reported having raised more than $750,000 at the end of the year.

Beshear has reported raising more than $3.5 million with about $2.6 million still on hand.

“We feel very confident,” Williams said when asked about polls that showed the ticket trailing. Storm said the ticket’s “reception has been wonderful” as the candidates have campaigned out in the state.

Farmer declined to criticize Beshear.

“I don’t have anything negative to say about (Beshear) personally,” Farmer said. “I’m not going to attack or say anything negative about them. I want to talk about the positive things that I think this team can do.”

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

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