Sunday, May 28, 2000

Covington mayor's race topped surprises in this year's primary

'Front-runner' ended up losing

        Before we forget a forgettable primary, our usual menu of picks, pans and awards:

Biggest surprise

That was the Covington mayor's race, particularly Bernie Moorman's stunning rise to first and Jim Eggemeier's spectacular plummet to third place, putting him out of the November election.

        Mr. Moorman proved that he still has plenty of support in the city and knows how to run an effective campaign.

        Mr. Eggemeier, meanwhile, might have made the mistake of listening to too many people telling him he was the front-runner and perhaps did not campaign as aggressively as others.

Bringing home the vote

With 20 of Covington's 27 precincts reporting election night, veteran Covington City Commissioner Butch Callery was in third place in the mayoral primary.

        With only the top two finishers moving on to November, Mr. Callery's prospects looked dim. As a crowd in the Kenton County clerk's office hovered around a computer displaying results, a longtime observer of Covington politics turned to a couple of reporters and just shook his head.

        “Latonia's not in,” he said.

        “Wait for Latonia. Butch is strong there and it will make the difference.”

        Not two minutes later Latonia reported and Mr. Callery jumped into second place and into the November election.

Snowball's chance

Union lawyer Ed Kagin, tired of the influence of religion and the anti-abortion lobby in Kentucky politics, ran his state Senate 11th District Democratic primary campaign on a platform that included bashing Northern Kentucky Right to Life and on his disbelief in God or anything else spiritual.

        With a platform like that, Mr. Kagin had a snowball's chance in hell of being elected. But of course, he doesn't believe in hell.

Worst signs

That award belongs to Scott Tooley, who finished second to Don Bell in the 4th Congressional District Republican primary.

        It's not that Mr. Tooley's signs are bad. It's just that he put them in the public right of way — on telephone poles, along state routes and on street corners — which is a no-no under state campaign election laws.

Best manifesto

OK, so Roger Thoney, who came in third in the 4th Congressional District GOP primary, had the only manifesto. Called “The Freedom Plan,” it was his plan for the American economy.

        Mr. Thoney, an economist and engineer, put an amazing amount of time and research into the plan.

        But he repeated the phrase “The Freedom Plan” so many times during a televised campaign debate that he sounded like Ron Popeil — he of Pocket Fisherman fame — hosting an infomercial.

        Mr. Thoney was one of the people who lost Tuesday but should stay involved in politics and ponder another run in the future.

        That list should also include Ken Johnson, who lost the Campbell County circuit clerk Democratic primary to the incumbent; Covington mayoral candidate Ray Murphy, who finished fourth in the field of four; the aforementioned Mr. Tooley and Mr. Eggemeier; and Shawn Staggs, who lost the Boone County Republican primary for property value administrator.

Worst participation

This goes to the nearly 90 percent of Northern Kentucky voters who stayed home election day.Hang your heads in shame this Memorial Day weekend as we honor the men and women who gave their lives so you could stay home and ignore the process that makes America what it is.

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


Citizen Soldiers
   A lesson to keep: 'Improvise, overcome and adapt'
   Military life shaped 5/3 CEO
   Service an obligation of citizenship
   Reception gets warmer as time goes on
   Driven to succeed 'for all my buddies'
   'You went on with your life'
General Assembly was busy
Theory wins $40,000 prize
Graduates mourn teen Loss of classmate hits hard at graduation
PULFER: Mapplethorpe
WILKINSON: Rogue candidate takes GOP loyalty to the brink
Scene two: Selling the movie
    Post-production problems
    A look at local films in works
    Prize-winning 'Dream Catcher' will open in Paris
Brian Rose digs up the past
DEMALINE: Regional plan relies on county
Get to it
KENDRICK: A tough soldier battles a new enemy
KIESEWETTER: Television news
Museum's hog pops with art
Review: Carmina Burana
REVIEW: Coriolanus
Veterans: We must remember them - and embrace them
DAUGHERTY: Looking for cheese? Skip the fridge, try a teen's bedroom
Complaints spark investigation of cemetery
- CROWLEY: Covington mayor's race topped surprises in this year's primary
Diversion program faces challenge
Dose of rain whets some appetites
Exhibit by deaf artists to open
Lebanon road plan assailed
Murder mystery: River uncovers skeleton
SAMPLES: Good deeds
Shakers gone but not forgotten
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book