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Louisville lawmaker decides against run for governor

January 5, 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Democratic state lawmaker from Louisville announced Saturday that she has decided against making a run for Kentucky governor this year.

In a Facebook message, state Rep. Attica Scott mentioned financial obstacles and her desire to spend time with her daughter, who soon will be headed to college, as reasons for not entering an already growing field of Democratic hopefuls vying for the Republican-held governorship.

“Like many of you, I am also not in a financial position to take the time off from my full-time job in order to run a successful statewide race,” Scott said. “Unfortunately, there are still many barriers for working class folks and single moms like me to run for higher office.”

Scott had drawn interest from some progressives in her party, and if she had entered the race she would have been seeking to become the state’s first black governor.

Three prominent Democrats have announced their intentions to run for governor this year: Attorney General Andy Beshear, state House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, and former state Auditor Adam Edelen.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has said he will run for re-election this year. Bevin’s approval ratings have plummeted after he criticized public workers who opposed his efforts to change the state’s struggling public pension plans.

Kentucky is one of three states that will elect governors in 2019, along with Louisiana and Mississippi.

Scott said Saturday she will withhold an endorsement in Kentucky’s gubernatorial contest until a candidate steps forward with a “clear agenda” that includes eliminating poverty and promoting racial and environmental justice and women’s rights.

Scott, a community organizer and activist before entering the state legislature, said she will continue traveling across the state to help Democrats get elected, and she thanked the people who supported her as she considered a run for governor.

“It’s not often that a woman who grew up in the projects of Beecher Terrace in Louisville gets the chance to even be considered as a viable candidate for the highest office in the state — whatever viable means,” she said.

Scott said she’ll also push an agenda in the upcoming General Assembly session that includes creating a state review board to investigate police shootings, exempting baby products from the state sales tax, and toughening laws against sexual harassment. Republicans hold overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate.

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