Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Fletcher first on TV in Republican race

The Associated Press

LEXINGTON - Ernie Fletcher is to run his first television campaign commercial on Tuesday, making him the first Republican in the governor's race to take to the airwaves.

The 30-second spot has as its theme "restoring hope." It includes Fletcher promising to "rebuild our government with people of rock solid values."

That statement "goes back to Boptrot," Fletcher said in a telephone interview. Boptrot was the federal code name for an undercover investigation of bribery and influence peddling in the General Assembly from 1990 to 1992.

"People are tired of that. They want to be proud of Kentucky," Fletcher said.

The commercial is to begin airing in Louisville and eventually will be seen statewide, according to the campaign. Fletcher is a congressman from Lexington who is in his third term.

Fletcher is the second gubernatorial candidate to hit the airwaves. Democrat Bruce Lunsford, a millionaire in his first political race, last week began running a commercial that introduces him to voters.

Fletcher's Republican primary opponents are state Rep. Steve Nunn of Glasgow, former Jefferson County Judge-Executive Rebecca Jackson of Louisville and state Sen. Virgil Moore of Leitchfield.

Other Democrats in the race are Attorney General Ben Chandler, House Speaker Jody Richards of Bowling Green and Otis Hensley of Wallins.

Gov. Paul Patton, a Democrat, is ending his second term and cannot run for re-election.

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