State Elections

Published — May 18, 2015

Big money behind Kentucky’s other horse race

12 things to know about the May 19 gubernatorial primary


Though the dirt at Churchill Downs has barely settled from American Pharaoh’s Derby victory, Kentuckians must pick another round of winners in Tuesday’s primary.

The biggest contest is on the Republican side of the gubernatorial race where voters will choose between frontrunner and former legislator Hal Heiner, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, entrepreneur Matt Bevin and former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott. The winner will likely face Attorney General Jack Conway, a Democrat, who appears poised to cruise past retired engineer Geoff Young in the Democratic heat.

It’s a race that has already produced the hallmarks of a classic political drama — or at least a middle school cafeteria with domestic violence accusations, a criminally overdue library book and insults comparing candidates to former Duke basketball bad boy Christian Laettner.

Here’s what you need to know about the cash fueling the race:

Sources: Center for Public Integrity analysis of data current through May 4 from the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance and TV ads through May 10 from media tracking firm Kantar Media/CMAG.

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