Saturday, April 20, 2002

Chandler steps toward run


Forms committee for governor race

The Associated Press

        FRANKFORT — Attorney General Ben Chandler took his first formal step toward a gubernatorial candidacy Friday, creating an exploratory finance committee.

        Mr. Chandler, who has served in state offices for 11 years, becomes the second Democrat to create a committee. Louisville businessman Charlie Owen created his earlier this week.

        An exploratory committee allows a candidate to raise and spend up to $90,000 to do preliminary campaign work, such as polling and organizing.

        Mr. Chandler took an especially low-key approach to his announcement, distributing a single-page release, most of which is dedicated to information about his campaign chairman and treasurer. Former Democratic Party chairman Tracy Farmer is chief of the exploratory committee and the treasurer is longtime Democratic power broker George Helton. Mr. Helton twice served as campaign treasurer for Gov. Paul Patton.

        The 2003 Democratic primary is shaping up as a crowded field. House Speaker Jody Richards of Bowling Green and Lt. Gov. Steve Henry of Louisville are also expected to run.

        Republicans also could have a spirited primary for the first time in quite a while. Jefferson County Judge-executive Rebecca Jackson has already formed her exploratory committee, as has state Rep. Steve Nunn of Glasgow. A committee was also formed by state Sen. Virgil Moore of Leitchfield.

        Sixth District U.S. Rep. Ernie Fletcher is considering a campaign for governor.

       



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