Former four-term House member Jerry Lundergan won a tight vote Saturday to head the Kentucky Democratic Party.LINKI'd never vote for anyone with a paper trail like that.
Members of the State Central Executive Committee voted 24-18 for the Lexington caterer to succeed Bill Garmer, who resigned in November.
Lundergan emerged as the only candidate from the 12-member nominating committee last week after Audrey Haynes, a top national YMCA official, withdrew from consideration, citing happiness with her current job.
Lundergan told committee members he would raise $1 million dollars for the Democratic Party as part of an effort to take back the state Senate and pick up seats in the House.
Lundergan, who described himself as the "first pro-life chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party," also promised he would promote family values.
"I don't fish, I don't hunt. I play politics, that is my sport," Lundergan told delegates. "My heart and soul is in this party."
Six members of the central committee were absent for the vote.
Lundergan moves into the position trailed by past controversy. Lundergan served as party chairman in the 1980s and lost a bid to Garmer last year.
He was convicted in 1989 of violating a law barring legislators from doing no-bid work for the state. The conviction was overturned on grounds that it should have been prosecuted as a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
Because the conviction was overturned, Lundergan does not have a criminal record.
Lundergan takes over a party reeling from a series of losses. Besides the state Senate, Republicans also hold the governorship, both U.S. Senate seats and all but one of the state's U.S. House seats. The GOP also picked up seven seats in the Democratic-controlled Kentucky House in last year's election.
Saturday, January 15, 2005
I really don't care that he's pro-life but the fact that that 6 members were absent scares me more. Those 6 members would have tied the race had they voted against him.