Comer says there is no conflict in accounts of gift from college girlfriend
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Republican candidates for governor have just a few hours left to get support. As James Comer winds down his race, he finds himself answering new questions about the controversy that has surrounded the campaign.
Comer spent Monday morning greeting voters over breakfast at a diner in Richmond, Ky.
Despite the continuing controversy over allegations from his college girlfriend, Marilyn Thomas, that he abused her -- charges Comer repeatedly denies -- Comer believes he is gaining momentum in the campaign's final hours.
“We've weathered many storms and many bullets that have been thrown our way,” he told WDRB.
The latest bullet is an apparent contradiction in Comer's account of his last encounter with Thomas.
In his initial news conference with wife T.J. on May 5, Comer said he and Thomas split on good terms. He pointed to a book he says she gave him in 2001 during a visit to New York, where Thomas now lives.
“That was given to me, and that was the last time that I saw Marilyn Thomas. I thanked her for the gift,” Comer said then.
But during a WDRB interview last week, Comer said the book was sent to him.
“I've produced proof that she had been communicating with me through the years and sent me a book that she signed,” he said.
Comer says the apparent contradiction is no more than a misunderstanding of a hometown expression.
“She gave me the book. Sent is a terminology in Monroe County, ‘You gave me something, you sent me something.' That's kind of Monroe County terminology. She gave me the book in New York City,” said Comer.
But in a short Facebook conversation, Thomas denies giving Comer the book in person, and says she sent it to his parents' house.
Comer says this latest flare-up misses the point.
“If I were the monster that she had claimed, I don't think she would be giving me a book at any point in this,” he said.
Meantime, Hal Heiner continues to run a TV ad referencing the abuse allegations.
But as he greeted voters in Shelby County Monday morning, he tried to stay away from the controversy.
“That issue is between Jamie Comer and the young lady. I've stayed on message; the message being, Kentucky can be first,” said Heiner.
Heiner and Comer disagree as the whether the campaign's negative tone will cause voters to stay home.
“I think it's going to continue to suppress turnout. People have real problems. They want to know what are you going to do for me?” said Comer.
“People that are supporting our effort to bring about a better Kentucky, I think they'll be at the polls,” Heiner said.
As for the other Republican candidates, Will T. Scott campaigned in his hometown of Pikeville.
Matt Bevin did not release his public schedule.
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