Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Morning after

Moorman surprised 'experts'

        Some things you might have missed in a primary election you probably missed.

        Today, when you're having breakfast at the Olde Towne, or lunch at Behle Street, or maybe a beer at the In Town, don't listen to that big mouth who just knew Bernie Moorman was going to run away with the Covington mayoral primary.

        Because there were few people picking Mr. Moorman to place first and Covington City Commissioner Butch Callery to finish second. Those two will now run against each other in November.

        The “smart” money was on incumbent mayor and longtime Commissioner Jim Eggemeier. A lot of Covington political watchers said second place was a toss-up, with Mr. Moorman or Mr. Callery finishing second.

        And the Republicans were out hard for Ray Murphy, who probably worked harder than any candidate in the race.

        But Mr. Moorman put together a smart campaign, with pockets of supporters around the city. He also used some last-minute advertising to bash the inside politics at Covington City Hall, which damaged Mr. Eggemeier but did not hurt Mr. Callery as badly.

        Mr. Eggemeier still may have a future in local Democratic politics, but his political plans were badly damaged by Tuesday's results.

        At a Monday night Democratic Party rally for state Senate candidate Jaimie Henson, most of the party's leaders, as well as lot of organized labor types who were there, picked Mr. Eggemeier to win.

        City Hall insiders were already predicting big shake- ups this fall should Mr. Moorman win. Speculation was rampant that some top department-head and administrative jobs could be on the chopping block.

        A boring primary looks like it's going to give way to an interesting race this fall.

        Boone County Commissioner Robert Hay, a staunch anti-abortionist and religious conservative, dropped out of the 11th state Senate District GOP primary earlier this year after incumbent Republican Sen. Dick Roeding agreed to sponsor legislation designed to curb abortions in Kentucky.

        But Mr. Hay still appeared on the ballot Tuesday in Boone and Kenton counties. Even though signs were posted at polling places indicating he was out of the race, Mr. Hay still garnered almost 20 percent of the vote in Boone County.

        And how about GOP voters in Boone County? About the only place where religion matters as much to voters is the Vatican.

"Uncommitted' runs well
        Democrats need to take a hard look at Al Gore's performance in some Kenton County precincts.

        In Kentucky presidential primaries, voters are assigning nominating delegates to candidates as much as they are voting for an individual candidate. So if a voter is not happy with any of the candidates, he or she can vote for “uncommitted,” which is essentially a vote for none-of-the-above.

        Mr. Gore actually lost to uncommited in two precincts in Edgewood and Taylor Mill. And in 20 precincts, he got less than 50 percent of the vote, losing a lot of votes to uncommited.

        “I don't know who that uncommited guy is,” Rick Robinson, a Kenton County Republican Party official and strategist, quipped Tuesday night. “But he seems to have a lot of support among some Democrats.”

        Patrick Crowley covers Kentucky politics for The Kentucky Enquirer. He can be reached at 578-5581, or by e-mail at

        Patrick Crowley covers Kentucky politics for the Enquirer. He can be reached at 578-5581, or (502) 875-7526 in Frankfort.