Kentucky Republican Challenges Governor Fletcher in 2007 Primary Race

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 30, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kentucky Republican Challenges Governor Fletcher in 2007 Primary Race Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 30
, 2006

Frankfort, KY ( — Kentucky is one of the handful of states with a major off-year election and the campaign for governor there is already beginning to heat up. Gov. Ernie Fletcher, a pro-life Republican, is embattled and has severely low approval ratings because of problems associated with hiring government employees.

As a result, some Republicans may look to another candidate to give them the best shot at keeping the governor’s mansion.

Paducah construction company owner and race car driver Billy Harper says he is that other candidate.

Harper, who says he opposes abortion, made an announcement at the state capitol Wednesday that he is seeking the GOP nod for governor next year. Though he was the finance chairman for Fletcher’s 2003 campaign, he says the governor can’t win.

"He can’t win the general election. Renominating him is the same thing as handing the statehouse to the Democrats," Harper said during the press conference.

He told the Herald-Leader newspaper that Fletcher’s polling numbers are in the 30 percent range and said his own name recognition is increasing thanks to a major television advertising campaign he’s been conducting.

Fletcher is a former member of Congress who built up a very strong pro-life voting record before deciding to run for governor.

As governor, Fletcher pleased pro-life groups when he signed his first bill into law, which happened to be legislation making it a crime to kill and unborn child in a violent act.

Those 18 years have seen a number of tragedies involving unborn children, including the January 2004 shooting death of 18-year-old Ashley Renee Lyons who was 5 months pregnant at the time.

Related web sites:
Kentucky Right to Life –