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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Kentucky Gubernatorial Race For 2015 Starts To Heat Up As Hal Heiner Enters Race With K. C. Crosby.

Hal Heiner enters GOP governor's race; Lexington running mate won't resign from RNC

Former Louisville mayoral candidate Hal Heiner officially announced his Republican campaign for governor on Tuesday, joining running mate KC Crosbie of Lexington in railing against the "status quo" in Frankfort.

With about 100 supporters cheering them on at Star Manufacturing in Lexington, Heiner and Crosbie kicked off a two-day tour of the state without mentioning potential GOP rivals Agriculture Commissioner James Comer or former ambassador to Latvia Cathy Bailey.
"Today, Kentucky is at a crossroads and we're in desperate need of strong leadership and innovative thinking," said Heiner, his hands shaking slightly with a banner reading "Kentucky First" behind him. "With my running mate, KC Crosbie, I am convinced that we can bring actual leadership to Frankfort for the first time in a long time and make dramatic improvements in peoples lives all across our state. And that's why I am excited to announce that I am running to be the next governor of Kentucky."
Crosbie, a former Urban County Council member, was offered the spot on Heiner's ticket last week, according to campaign manager Joe Burgan.

Crosbie also is one of Kentucky's two members of the Republican National Committee and finance chairwoman for the Republican Party of Kentucky. Some Republican leaders, including House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, told the Herald-Leader Monday that Crosbie should resign from those positions.
But Burgan said Tuesday that Crosbie has no intention of resigning from the RNC, and she will "look into" whether she should step down from her post at the state party.
Crosbie told the crowd, many of whom said they were friends of hers but not familiar with Heiner yet, that she was "really pumped up to get started with this campaign."
"Changing the leadership in Frankfort won't be easy," she said. "It's going to be really tough, and we all understand why. The Democrat politicians who control Frankfort now and those aspiring to replace them are the same insiders who have had a stranglehold over change for decades."

In addition to her official duties with the Republican Party, Crosbie also took early heat Monday from Comer and his allies for the lobbying work her husband, Scott, has done on behalf of pro-gambling interests like GTech Corporation and Tropicana Casinos and Resorts.
Heiner, a former Louisville Metro council member, largely demurred when asked about Scott Crosbie's work and his position on expanded gaming.
"The bullets already are starting to fly," Heiner said with a chuckle. "And actually it's the politics of old that have held back this state. All of this tangential ideas instead of focusing on where this state can go and that's why we end up with 55 percent of our children that are either dropping out or not prepared for college or career."

When pressed, Heiner said he has the same position on expanded gambling that he had when running for mayor of Louisville, saying that Kentuckians should be allowed to decide the issue at the ballot box. He added: "I likely wouldn't vote for it."

Heiner, a millionaire businessman and chairman of Capstone Realty, said his top priorities are jobs and education. He hailed his time in the private sector as a necessary qualification for the state's next governor.
"Our state needs a chief executive with business experience," Heiner said. "Someone who has competed in the global economy and has a track record of success."
Promising "a campaign of big ideas and lofty goals," Heiner said his announcement is the beginning of "a 20-month journey all across Kentucky."

After the first announcement in Lexington, Heiner was departing by plane to Hazard and Bowling Green before an afternoon event in Louisville.
The duo were planning to continue their tour, visiting towns like Owensboro and Paducah on Wednesday.
"So thank you so much for being here at the launch," Heiner said. "Now it's time to get to work, so let's go."

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