Friday, September 11, 2015

Bevin: 'odds are increasingly high' he will win, and is vetting possible appointees and seeking suggestions

By Anthony Pendleton
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin said Thursday “the odds are increasingly high" that he will win the Nov. 3 election, and is encouraging the public to submit considerations for cabinet positions through his website.

At a Commerce Lexington luncheon, Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett asked the candidate, "Tell us what a Bevin administration would be like . . . Hiring practices? If you would win, it'd be a change in party as well. . . . So how would you handle that process?"

Bevin replied that he will be as "unencumbered" as Democrat John Y. Brown Jr., who also self-funded his own primary campaign, was in his 1979-83 term.

“One thing John Y. did well is, he brought together professionals,” Bevin said. “He was agnostic, as I will be, with respect to party. I don’t give a rip whether they’re Republican or Democrat. That's the thing that has been killing this state, and others, for far too long. Let's remove the partisanship, and let's start governing as if we're being good stewards of the taxpayers' money.”

Earlier, Bevin said, "There's not one person who has been promised a job. There is not one favor that needs to be paid back. There was not a single elected official - not one - who supported me or endorsed me during the primary. . . . This is wonderful! I've got no favors to pay back."

Bevin says people who have suggestions for cabinet positions should send him "the person's name, what their qualifications are, what you think they would be good at, and how I can get a-hold of 'em."
Bevin said he has "already started [candidates] through the vetting process" because he doesn't want to get behind. "One mistake that is often made is that you wait until you win, and then all of a sudden you gotta transition, and you gotta submit a budget. All of a sudden, you're upside-down."

Under Section 73 of the Constitution of Kentucky, the governor is inaugurated the fifth Tuesday after election, which will be Dec. 8. Newly elected governors have 15 legislative days to submit a budget, meaning it will be due on or before Jan. 26.

In replying to Bissett, and earlier in the luncheon, Bevin said the odds are increasing that he will be governor. When asked afterward what made him think that, he replied, "I think if you just look at the trends themselves - not only in terms of what people care about, the things they're talking about - but, frankly, polling as well."

Bevin added that "there's only been one poll done" that shows him behind. He said that poll was conducted by "a combination of several different media outlets who have been historically, sort of, lopsided in their thinking and historically wrong."

Bevin was referring to the Bluegrass Poll, conducted for Louisville’s WHAS-TV and The Courier-Journal, and the Lexington Herald-Leader and WKYT-TV. In its latest survey, July 22-28, Conway led Bevin 45 percent to 42 percent, and 43-38 with the inclusion of independent Drew Curtis, who got 8 percent. The only other public poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling from June 18-21. Bevin led 40-38 in that poll. Both results were within the polls’ margins of error.

The Bluegrass Poll sponsors are also sponsoring the first debate among the three candidates this Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Bellarmine University in Louisville. It will broadcast live on WKYT and WHAS, and will also be available on the sponsors' websites.

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