Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Candidates keep making news after the debate

By Cheyene Miller
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The three men running for governor battled on stage for an hour at Bellarmine University but put on smiles for reporters afterwards, and kept making news.

During the debate Republican Matt Bevin accused Democrat Jack Conway, the state’s attorney general, of not enforcing the law that says university boards should be racially and politically inclusive, in reference to the University of Louisville board of trustees having no black members despite the city being more than 20 percent black.

Conway, who has said he would correct that, put some distance between himself and Democratic Gov, Steve Beshear as he spoke with reporters afterward.

“I’m disappointed in the governor that he didn’t put African Americans on the U of L board … and when I’m governor I’m going to rectify that,” Conway said.

Independent candidate Drew Curtis told reporters that he thinks he can win because Democrats and Republicans aren't enthused about their candidates and may not vote. "All of my people are coming," he said.

Curtis said that if he were not in the race he would vote for the Republican slate of Matt Bevin and running mate, Jenean Hampton, because of her.

“She’s a huge nerd, just like me, and we talked about who was the best Batman,” said Curtis to a group of reporters after the debate.

Phillip M. Bailey, an African American who is a reporter for The Courier-Journal, asked Bevin if he is receiving negative feedback from the eastern and western parts of the state for having an African American running mate who would be Kentucky’s first black statewide elective officeholder.

“It may be unconventional, but let me tell you something, it’s 2015, it’s time,” said Bevin, who said liberal Democrats often support inclusivity and diversity, but that for his campaign “the proof is in the pudding.”

Bevin is the father of four adoptive children from Ethiopia, and has pointedly said he is not running against President Obama, whose race has been a factor in opposition to Obama from Kentucky voters, according to exit polls.

After the debate, Conway repeated his criticism of Bevin for not releasing his tax returns, a major talking point for Conway and Kentucky Democrats.

“I have an opponent who’s the number one tax delinquent in his region and now won’t release his tax returns,” Conway told reporters. Fact-checkers found in 2013 that Bevin’s tax delinquencies were the result of a change in mortgage companies and the troubles of a business that he was not operating at the time its taxes went delinquent.

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