With November election over, race for Ky. governor kicks into hi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

With November election over, race for Ky. governor kicks into high gear

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The dust has barely settled from the most expensive Senate race in Kentucky history, but the race to become the next governor is kicking into high gear.

The candidates have been holding their fire until after the November election. Now the battle is on, with the May primary just seven months away.

Mitch McConnell's big victory over Alison Lundergan Grimes marked the end of one campaign and the beginning of another.

The candidates for governor have been focusing their efforts on the U.S. Senate race and the fight to control the State House.

"Well, certainly everything changes now," said former Metro Councilman Hal Heiner.

Heiner and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer are the only Republicans in the race, so far.

"I've been working as hard for Kentucky House candidates as our own campaign up until this point. But starting tomorrow morning, we'll be focused completely on this governor's race," said Heiner Tuesday night.

Comer says he has nearly doubled the size of his campaign organization in the past three days.

"Now I can focus exclusively on the governor's race, because the governor's office is the most important office in Kentucky," said Comer following an appearance in Louisville Friday.

On the Democratic side, House Speaker Greg Stumbo remains coy about his intentions.

"I am hopeful that my colleagues will allow me to be Speaker of this chamber during the next term, and that's all I'm worried about right now," said Stumbo.

Soon-to-be-Lt. Governor Crit Luallen joked about running during the news conference announcing her appointment.

"Yes, I'm announcing today," she said to a wave of laughter.

But Luallen says she has not changed her mind about entering the race, despite her new high profile.

"I announced in May that I'm not running for governor in '15. I have no plans to run for office next year," she said.

That leaves Attorney General Jack Conway as the only declared Democrat, but will it remain that way?

"I can't control that. I hope so. I hope to unify the party," Conway told WDRB News.

Over the next several weeks, look for announcements from potential candidates - both Democrats and Republicans - as the 2015 race takes shape.

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