JCPS school board member running for lieutenant governor

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – When House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins announces his run for governor next week, expect to see a member of the Jefferson County school board at his side as his running mate.

Adkins, who has been frequently mentioned as a likely gubernatorial candidate, sent an advisory late Friday for a “special announcement” 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in Morehead. Adkins will roll out his gubernatorial bid in Morehead, WDRB News has learned, and has chosen Jefferson County Board of Education member Steph Horne as his running mate, according to paperwork filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

Horne, an attorney who has represented District 3 on the Jefferson County Board of Education for a single term, declined to comment when contacted by WDRB News on Friday. She did not seek re-election for the school board this year.

Courtney Daniel, listed as the media contact on Adkins’s press release, would only say that Adkins is planning an announcement Wednesday when reached for comment.

Adkins will be the second Democrat to enter the race after Attorney General Andy Beshear launched his campaign in July, much to the chagrin of Adkins and others who said Beshear should have ceased fundraising as Democrats sought to reclaim control of Kentucky’s House of Representatives.

Democrats netted two seats on Tuesday, but Republicans maintained their supermajority in the lower chamber with 61 members. Beshear has raised $664,893 since announcing his gubernatorial bid.

Adkins will also be the second Democrat with a running mate with ties to education, a central issue in Democratic campaigns for the legislature following numerous demonstrations by teachers at the Capitol during this year’s legislative session. Beshear picked Jacqueline Coleman, a teacher and high school basketball coach from Mercer County, as his running mate.

Horne has long been rumored as a likely candidate for lieutenant governor on a ticket with Adkins. The pair were spotted at this year’s Fancy Farm picnic, the annual church picnic that doubles as a political gathering in western Kentucky, according to CNHI News.

She’s maintained a relatively low profile on the Jefferson County Board of Education, but she provides some regional balance for the ticket in a key area for any Democrat seeking their party’s gubernatorial nomination.

Jefferson County is a Democratic stronghold and Adkins, an Elliott County native, will need a strong showing there against Beshear, from Louisville, and other Democrats who enter the gubernatorial primary as he vies for the party’s nod to run against Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican in his first term.

Bevin announced his plans to run for re-election in August at the Republican Party of Kentucky’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

Other Democrats who may be eyeing gubernatorial runs include Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and former state Auditor Adam Edelen.

Reach reporter Kevin Wheatley at 502-585-0838 and kwheatley@wdrb.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinWheatleyKY.

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