LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A flat out lie.

That's what Republican gubernatorial candidate James Comer says about a story in today's Courier-Journal. In it, an ex-girlfriend claims that Comer abused her when they dated in college.

Comer held a news conference in Lexington to deny virtually every word of the story in the Courier-Journal articleHe threatened a lawsuit, and said he is not quitting the race for governor.

"This has been a very difficult day for T.J. and me," he said. "As a devoted husband and a proud father of a son and two daughters, the crime of domestic violence sickens me."

A sometimes emotional James Comer, along with his wife T.J., blasted the story in The Courier-Journal alleging he abused a former girlfriend.

"Yesterday's article in The Courier-Journal is filled with inconsistencies, implausible scenarios, and flat-out lies," he said. "Everyone who knows me understands that the charges are completely incompatible with everything I stand for."

The story details a letter sent to veteran reporter Joseph Gerth by Marilyn Thomas, Comer's former girlfriend at Western Kentucky in the early 1990s. In it, she accuses Comer of being physically and mentally abusive during their two-year relationship. She even claims Comer drove her to Louisville to get an abortion.

"The fact that The Courier-Journal is publishing this garbage is a reflection of them, not me," Comer said. "They should be ashamed of this Rolling Stone style of journalism."

"I married him almost 12 years ago, and I would do the same thing today," T.J. Comer said. "He's a wonderful father, a wonderful husband."

The story hits on the same day Comer received praise for his role in reviving Kentucky's hemp industry as Agriculture Commissioner. Comer calls the article a political hit piece, blaming what he calls "shadowy figures."

He says he has no intention of quitting the race.

"We're moving on with this campaign. This symbolizes -- this type of dirty, gutter politics -- symbolizes everything that I'm against," he said.

Comer would not speculate on Thomas' motives, but he notes it is two weeks before the primary. Last week, Hal Heiner apologized for contact his campaign had with a blogger who has been pushing the story for months.

UPDATE: Late Tuesday afternoon, Heiner campaign spokesman Doug Alexander responded to WDRB News' request for further comment on the Comer article by saying, "We have no involvement."  

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