Monday, January 29, 2007

Trey Grayson: Pick a running-mate after primary

In several states, the primary candidates are decided in a manner similar to that of the presidential election, in which the nominee chooses his own Lt. Governor after the election.

I'd have to sleep more on this idea before considering whether or not to support the idea proposed by Secretary of State Trey Grayson.
Prospective candidates couldn't raise or spend any campaign cash until they found a running mate and filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

That made it difficult for them to commission a poll to show off their viability to potential lieutenant governor candidates or pay for trips to build up support networks or even trek across the state to find a slate-mate.

So all this may help Secretary of State Trey Grayson make his case for a bill that would allow each party's nominee for governor to name a running mate after the primary election.

"I think it has strengthened the argument for it," said Grayson, a Republican.

Under that system, each candidate would run solo and the lieutenant governor candidate would be selected and nominated at a party convention after the primary -- just like the presidential election process.

Grayson said he's still looking for someone to sponsor the bill in the General Assembly next month. Democratic Rep. Tommy Thompson of Owensboro -- who was running mate with former Secretary of State Bob Babbage in the 1995 Democratic primary -- introduced it last year but hasn't committed yet to push it during this session.

Kathy Groob, a Democratic activist in Northern Kentucky, said she likes Grayson's proposal because it opens new opportunities for surprise candidates.

"There could be a strong No. 2 who comes out and runs strong in the primary," she said. "I think we'd have a stronger team."

The current running mate requirement is left over from the 1992 election reforms that created gubernatorial slates.

But at that time, someone considering running for governor could create an exploratory committee by him or herself and raise money to cover costs of polls and travel. The legislature killed exploratory committees in 2005, making this the first election run under these conditions.

He said that despite the buzz in political circles, he seriously considered just two potential running mates: True and state Sen. Joey Pendleton of Hopkinsville, who said last fall that he declined Henry's invitation.

Pendleton said he would oppose Grayson's running-mate measure.

"I kind of like to know who the whole team is going to be from the start to the finish," he said.
What do you think?

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