2015 Gubernatorial Election
(ANMNews.com) – Today is the day that many states will hold statewide and executive office elections.
Gubernatorial elections will take place in Kentucky and Mississippi. Louisiana will hold their special election on November 21, 2015.
Various other elections will be held for officeholders in numerous cities, counties, school boards, special districts and others around the country.
It is a civic duty to get out and exercise your right to vote. Today is that day for local politics. Your voice and your vote matter.
Conservative Republican Matt Bevin who won his party’s primary by just 83 votes back in May takes on Democrat Jack Conway, Kentucky’s Attorney General.
This has been a toss-up throughout the campaign season and most insiders predict it will go down to the wire to determine who will become the state’s next Governor.
Bevin, a Louisville businessman, husband, and father of nine is pro-life, supports right-to-work, is against common core, wants to update and simply the tax code, and fix the public retirement system with pension reform.
Conway, the state’s Attorney General, a husband and father of two is pro-choice, against right-to-work, supports expanding early childhood education, and wants to continue with much of what current Gov. Steve Beshear (D) has implemented.
Governor Steve Beshear (D) is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.
Republican Whitney Westerfield, State Senator takes on Democrat Andy Beshear, attorney and son of Gov. Steve Beshear.
Attorney General Jack Conway (D) is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.
Secretary of State:
Republican Stephen Knipper takes on incumbent Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Republican Mike Harmon, State Representative takes on incumbent Democrat Adam Edelen.
Republican Allison Ball, attorney and former staffer to Sen. Mitch McConnell takes on Democrat Rick Nelson, attorney and State Representative.
Todd Hollenbach (D) is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.
Republican Ryan Quarles, State Representative takes on Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann, businesswoman and agriculture activist.
James Comer (R) decided not to run for re-election. He ran for Governor and lost in the Republican primary by just 83 votes.
Kentucky polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Ohioans will decide if they will become the Buck-High state when they vote on Issue 3, which would amend the state constitution to legalize recreational marijuana use.
If it passes, Ohio will be the first state to do so without first allowing medical marijuana.
Ohio polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Voters are choosing a governor and seven other statewide officials, three public service commissioners, three transportation commissioners, all 174 legislators, and county officials.
They also vote on Initiative 42, which would allow the state legislature to have complete freedom in how they fund their public schools.
Mississippi polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Voters will decide which party controls the state’s Senate. All 140 seats in Virginia’s General Assembly are up for grabs.
Currently, Republicans control the Senate 21 to 19.
Virginia polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Again, today is the day for local politics. Be sure to do your duty and get out there and vote. Bring a friend and family member. Just vote. It matters.
The Cincinnati Enquirer is running a story this weekend by the same title, however, it is misleading and shows how disconnected they continue to be with Northern Kentucky.
Their reasons: “Northern Kentucky needs to improve turnout”, “who will gain momentum for the 2016 Senate race”, “the White House effect”, and “tepid Republican support”.
I ask, what do any of those have to do with how voters should weigh their choices this November? The answer is a very distinct, “absolutely nothing.”
Instead, please allow me to offer four REAL reasons:
- Pension Crisis
As of January 1, 2015, the Kentucky teacher retirement system faced more than $14 Billion in unfunded liabilities. This is in addition to the $17 Billion in unfunded pensions in the Kentucky Retirement System. No solution came out of the legislative session, and the can was kicked down the road yet again. This massively looming debt grows daily, is not being addressed and is not sustainable. Pensions continue to be offered to state employees as a benefit, so the burden grows through attrition.
All of this burden falls upon the Kentucky taxpayer. Our police, fire, teachers, and civil servants all stand to lose their retirement that they’ve worked for if something is not done.
- Tax Deficit
The current Kentucky tax code is more than 60,000 pages. The state, in 2014, gave out $90M more than it took in, and is on pace to fall more than $35M short in 2015. This, is in addition to the pension deficit. The tax code in current form does not provide competitive opportunity for businesses to locate within the commonwealth. Major players such as Toyota, Humana, and Omnicare have moved out of state for greener pastures. All sides agree that comprehensive tax reform is needed, but the seated governor and legislature have ignored the issue, and again, passed the buck.
- Health Care Reform
The creation of a state exchange, KYNECT, was initiated as part of the Affordable Care Act. The exchange is heralded as one of the better state exchanges in design, and was created with $253.6M in grants, of which only $60M have been accounted for. The state spent more than $11M in 2014 just promoting the exchange, who has 622 employees. The cost to operate KYNECT is stated at $39M per year. States are not required to operate their own exchange, and all services provided by the exchange can be received through the federal ACA online exchange.
Medicaid expansion in the state has increased the annual state cost of funding. The governor’s projections in 2013 were for 147,000 people to join the expanded program, at a cost of $33M. More than 310,000 people joined, just the first year pushing the cost projections to $119M per year. The healthcare marked is turning to increased costs upon the insured, because of the reduced reimbursement rates of Medicaid, driving the expense of healthcare up, to compensate. The cycle is not sustainable, and the state currently has no answers to fund the expansion.
- Labor Law
Right to work legislation is at Kentucky’s doorstep. The concept with Right-To-Work is that by law, no one can be forced to enter into an organized labor contract / agreement. This does not ban unions, but does make participation within them elective. This issue is very divisive, as the organized labor contingent believes it jeopardizes their funding and ability to operate, and those opposed to forced participation believe the increased dollars going to worker pockets instead of union dues are a job creation incentive. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, and Tennessee all have passed right to work legislation, and are all in direct competition for business growth and expansion with Kentucky.
All four of these topics have major implications on the future ability of our state government to function. In Northern Kentucky we have a looming need for an I-75 bridge solution, and our sprawling growth has overburdened many state highways and systems.
Which candidate offers the best skill set, and approach to resolving these major issues facing our state?
Here are your choices:
Do your homework Kentucky, and VOTE!
November 3, 2015.
HEBRON, Ky. — A crowd of more than 250 rose to their feet in Northern Kentucky on Saturday night, to applaud and give thanks to Congressman Thomas Massie – not once, but twice.
Offering insight into his most recent transgressions at the capitol, Massie cautioned not to get caught “Looking the other way” with congressional business as Benjamin Netanyahu will be in town to address the session. Massie offered that these media marquee events were often used as distractions, where covertly, unpopular legislation could be snuck through the system without much attention.
Massie said that he found sitting on the aisle in congress, was the best way to bridge the gap and learn what opinions were being discussed that might be contrary to your own. Working with Jared Polis (D – CO) as a co-sponsor of pro-hemp legislation, Massie cited as an example of those who were often polar opposites, coming together for the greater good.
Massie’s always pleasant candor, was well received. It served as a reminder of the unity and common ideals of Northern Kentucky, and capped off an evening where each of the four Republican gubernatorial candidates, where the party is very much divided on support, were given an opportunity to speak.
Hal Heiner drew the first slot, and used his time to champion the recent success of the party, the leadership of Senator Paul, and leadership of Congressman Massie. Heiner encouraged us to look around, and see that Indiana, Tennessee, and Illinois have all installed conservative businessmen, not politicians, as Governors, and to look at the success that is following. “Companies love Kentucky,” quipped Heiner “but they can’t stand Frankfort.” Heiner joked that his daughter had to go to Texas to find opportunity after college, and had married a Texan and started a family; in Texas, while referencing the impact on Northern Kentucky of Toyota’s recent decision to relocate there. Heiner did not speak of running mate, K.C. Crosbie.
Mat Bevin spoke second. After introducing two of his daughters, Olivia and Sophia, Bevin was quick to get into detail about the many problems plaguing Frankfort. Bevin and running mate Jenean Hampton had unveiled their ‘Blueprint for a Better Kentucky‘ earlier in the week. Bevin referenced the blueprint frequently, and cited his hands on experience as pension manager of more than $5 Billion in assets with a company “I started in my basement” as invaluable to addressing the state employee’s pension crisis.
“There are ten reasons I’m in this race,” Bevin offered, “two of them are here with me tonight. We cannot continue to kick the can down the road.” Matt and his wife have 9 children, which he joked isn’t a lot by Northern Kentucky standards. Addressing a commonly voiced opinion that he was very late to enter the race, Bevin argued, “What could be more American than challenging at the last minute?” Bevin shared that he and Hampton are both active duty military veterans.
Current Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and former longtime state representative Jamie Comer, spoke third. Referencing his background as a large farm owner, and experience in banking, Comer also spoke of the growth of business in our surrounding states; attributing it to Republican leadership. Comer focused on his tenure as Commissioner and the downsizing of the department on his watch, vowing to bring that mindset forward. “State government can be more efficient.” Comer spoke that in his opinion, we need to treat our high Medicaid enrollment as a poverty problem, to best be solved by creating jobs. Running mate Senator Chris McDaniel, would be charged with financial oversight in the Comer administration.
Judge Will T. Scott was the final candidate to address the room. Scott and running mate Rodney Coffey are leaving their recently elected posts to seek the governor’s office. Scott spoke of Kentucky’s most pressing issues as pension funding, and addressing issues with the penal system and department of corrections. Scott believes that a restructuring of the penal code, as well as a new minimum security prison would go far to correct the drug related crimes in the state. Citing first hand experience in his family with drug abuse, relapse and successful recovery, Scott stated that he would not “have another death on his hands” from the state’s growing drug problem.
The Kentucky Republican gubernatorial primary election will be held on May 19, 2015.
More can be learned about the candidates via their campaign websites:
Hal Heiner – HalHeiner.com
Matt Bevin – MattBevin.com
Jamie Comer – JamesComer.com
Will T. Scott – WillTScott.com
On Tuesday, Matt Bevin responded to attacks from Democrat Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and the Democratic Governor’s Association (DGA), the political arm of the remaining 18 Democrat governors in America.
Shortly after unveiling his “Blueprint for a Better Kentucky”, a detailed plan to bring jobs and economic opportunity to Kentucky, Matt Bevin drew fire from Beshear and the DGA for his call to stop the implementation of Obamacare in Kentucky.
“The Medicaid expansion is simply unaffordable for the taxpayers of Kentucky,” said Matt Bevin. “We need a Governor who has the leadership ability to solve the problems we face as Kentuckians and to bring jobs and economic opportunity to our Commonwealth.
“Yesterday I offered a detailed ‘Blueprint for a Better Kentucky‘ and I challenged the other candidates in the race, on both sides of the aisle, to do the same. It is clear that my solutions have ruffled the feathers of the Democrat Governors. I am happy to lead the fight for a more fiscally responsible plan in the general election and, if elected Governor, I will begin enacting these much needed reforms on day one.”
Last week, Matt Bevin was the only Republican candidate for Governor who criticized Attorney General Jack Conway’s failure to participate in the coalition of 26 states that took on President Obama’s unconstitutional executive action on Amnesty.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With the unveiling of their seven point “Blueprint for a Better Kentucky“, Gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin, and running mate Jenean Hampton formally kicked off their campaign for Frankfort’s top offices.
Speaking in Shelbyville, Florence, and Bowling Green today, Bevin aims to personally share the Blueprint across the commonwealth.
In the plan introduction, Bevin and Hampton, both from humble backgrounds jointly state:
We believe in the American Dream because we have both been blessed to live the American Dream. A dream built on a foundation of Christian principles, love of liberty, self-reliance and a strong work ethic. We want a Kentucky where our young people stay to raise their families because jobs are plentiful and quality of life is high. We want to ensure that the very same opportunity exists for the generations of Kentuckians yet to come.
Bevin describes the plan as a non-partisan pursuit of molding Kentucky to grow the economy, attract jobs, and reap the social and economic benefits of a renewed focus on making the state competitive.
The plan’s slogan states simply, “It’s all about the jobs.”
Here in Kentucky, we have an abundance of geographic, topographic, demographic and seasonal advantages that no other state can offer. Jenean and I are living proof of the powerful attraction of our beautiful state. It is time that we pick ourselves up, cast aside the economic chains that we have entangled ourselves with and become a magnet for businesses and families across this nation. It is time for Kentucky to shine like a beacon from sea to shining sea.
The Blueprint for a Better Kentucky, focuses on 7 key pillars for the state. It calls for enacting “Right To Work” legislation, a modernization and simplification of the state tax code, an outside audit and private 401k approach to pension reform, education reform with a focus on parental empowerment, a repeal of Medicaid expansion, and challenging federal overreach into state matters.
In addition to releasing their plan, the Bevin-Hampton campaign challenged all candidates on either side of the aisle in the Governor’s race to release their plans to address the serious problems facing Kentucky.
The plan can be viewed here in its entirety.
You can follow Matt Bevin at the following:
In an email to supporters on Tuesday, Matt Bevin, former candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014 who ran against the now Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell explained what’s to expect in the months ahead.
Bevin is running for Governor of Kentucky as a Republican candidate. The other candidates are current Agricultural Commissioner of Kentucky James Comer, Hal Heiner, former Louisville Metro Councilman, and Will T. Scott, former Associate Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court.
By: Matt Bevin
How blessed we are to live in Kentucky today! Yes, we have many problems facing our state. And yes, this is increasingly common knowledge but, importantly, there are solutions to these problems if we have the right people in place with the right ideas.
There’s no more important place to start making our way out of the bureaucratic wilderness than this year’s Governor’s race.
Tough decisions have to be made…really tough decisions. This will not be an easy path ahead.
After many months in prayer and consultation with family and friends across Kentucky, I knew that I needed to step up to the plate.
That’s why earlier today, I filed to run for Governor of the great Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The decision of a running mate is also one that weighed heavily on my heart. I have spoken to many folks about this role, and about what would be best for Kentucky. I am truly excited to announce candidate for Lt. Governor, Jenean Hampton.
A strong voice for working class taxpayers and for our country’s founding principles, Jenean is also a close friend. She is a strong advocate for liberty and for restoring a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Jenean grew up in a financially humble home and put herself through college while working full time at General Motors. She holds an MBA from a top tier business school and has two decades of experience in the private sector working for several Fortune 500 companies. Jenean is a former active duty Air Force officer, a thought-leader on economic growth, an unwavering supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and a strong defender of life for all Kentuckians.
We know that talk is cheap and voters are looking for bold leaders with the courage to actually do what needs to be done in Frankfort. Jenean and I represent our Commonwealth both figuratively and literally. Our experiences in the private sector along with our years of military service, make us uniquely qualified to tackle the issues facing Kentucky today. We are excited by the challenges and opportunities before us!
Jenean and I have both been blessed to live the American dream. We are grateful that our ability to pursue our dreams in life were made possible by the sacrifice and bloodshed of those who came before us.
The American dream is one every Kentuckian should have a chance to achieve. That seems to have been lost through the years, and we are going to strive to make that a defining characteristic for all Kentuckians, ensuring better opportunities for the future.
Over the coming weeks and months, Jenean and I will set forth our innovative, clear-cut and achievable goals for putting Kentucky back on the path to prosperity.
Thank you for all your past support. I look forward to hearing from you on the campaign trail.
Matt Bevin is a conservative business man, military veteran, husband, and father. He was a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014. He lives with his family in Louisville, Kentucky.