Bevin, Conway face off for first time in campaign for KY governo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bevin, Conway face off for first time in campaign for KY governor

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The two men who want to be Kentucky's next governor faced off in public Friday for the first time.

The event officially launched the contest between Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway.

Bevin and Conway had very different messages as they shared the stage at the annual meeting of county government leaders.

It was a room full of county judge executives, magistrates and commissioners -- people who influence a lot of votes.

Attorney General Conway touted his experience in state government, promising to fund improvements in education and infrastructure.

"That also means that you're going to have a Transportation Cabinet that works with you, that has the flex funds available, and that is responsive to your needs," said Conway.

On the other hand, Bevin pointed to his private sector experience, and made no promises about what Frankfort could deliver.

"The reality is this state is broke. Let's not kid ourselves. I could sit here and blow smoke to you about how I'm, going to give you this, and how I'm going to give you that, and you're going to have this, that and the other thing. Where is it going to come from? Where is the money going to come from?" Bevin told the crowd.

The comments illustrated the stark differences between the two on the role of government.

"A lot of promises have been made in the past, and they haven't been fulfilled. Somewhere the line has to be drawn," said David Voegele, the Republican Judge Executive of Oldham County.

"What's his plan to cut everything, I guess? I don't think people really want to see cuts. I think they want to see solutions," said Rowan Co. Judge Executive and former State Sen. Walter Blevins, a Democrat.

The forum was civil in tone, but both sides got in their digs. Conway pointed out Bevin's refusal to release his tax returns.

"And I do believe in transparency, and I stood up for it as Attorney General, and that's the reason this week I released three years worth of my tax returns. That's the reason I'll release my tax returns every year that I'm governor, and I call on my opponent to do the same thing," said Conway.

"My response is what difference does that make? Seriously. We have education issues. We have job creation issues," countered Bevin in an interview with WDRB.

Bevin chided Conway for not yet releasing a jobs plan.

"There is a plan, apparently, coming from the other side, which is awesome. It's about time. You deserve better than people who blow smoke and make promises," he said.

"I'm going to put out my jobs plan, I'm going to put out an education plan later in the summer. I will be very specific about what I'm going to do as governor," Conway told WDRB.

The two will next meet again on July 23 at a forum being held by the Kentucky Farm Bureau.

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