Friday, April 4, 2003

Ex-attorney general wants Senate seat

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - Former Kentucky Attorney General Fred Cowan, a Democrat, said he plans to run next year for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Jim Bunning.

Cowan, who practices law in Louisville, declined to say why he is running. He said he would elaborate later.

Cowan, 57, was a state representative from 1982 to 1988, the year he took office as attorney general. He ran for lieutenant governor in 1991 but lost the Democratic nomination to Paul Patton, who is now governor. Cowan ran for Jefferson County judge-executive in 1998 and lost to Republican Rebecca Jackson.

Cowan said he has raised some money for the race and will soon register a campaign committee.

Patton was the Democrats' presumptive nominee, but that changed with the scandal over his extramarital affair with Tina Conner.

Jefferson County Attorney Irv Maze, who says he might run for the Senate, said Cowan is jumping the gun.

"The primary focus of Democrats in this state ought to be retaining the Democratic governorship," Maze said. "There's only so much money Democrats can raise." The governor's race is this year.

Cowan didn't return a call seeking comment on Maze's remarks.

In response to Cowan, Bunning said, "I am very comfortable with the strong support I enjoy from the people of Kentucky, and I look forward to running against the winner of the Democrat primary in 2004."

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