Bowen to run for state senate

 Messenger-Inquirer reporter Steve Vied reported today that Owensboro Republican Joe Bowen, a former member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, has filed to run for the 8th District seat in the Kentucky Senate – the position now held by Democrat David Boswell.

Bowen, 59, was elected to the 13th District House seat in 2004 and served one term before being defeated by 408 votes by Jim Glenn in November of 2006. Glenn remains in that seat and is running for re-election.

Bowen is co-owner of Bowen Tire Co. of Owensboro.

“I do this because I think I can have a positive impact on public policy … as an advocate for our community,” Bowen said. “Owensboro and Daviess County and McLean County have missed opportunities too many times. We’ve been passed by.”

Bowen said if elected he will become a member of the Republican majority in the Senate, which will leave him is a good place to help the 8th District.

“When the economy turns around I’ll be well-positioned to make sure Owensboro is out front to benefit more than we have,” he said.

“We’ve been left behind. I think I can work to get the attention for Owensboro that’s been missing. I don’t think we’ve had the presence, we haven’t been on the inside of the maneuvering in Frankfort. Other legislators have had more clout and been able to channel more things to their communities. I think people want a fresh face, new eyes. We need a change. We can do better.”

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Owensboro Democrat files to run against Brett Guthrie in 2nd Congressional District

Ed Marksberry, an official with the Daviess County Democratic Party in filed papers Thursday to run for the 2nd District congressional seat now held by Republican Rep. Brett Guthrie.
Marksberry filed his paperwork Thursday.

The 2nd District is a large area, sprawling from Owensboro to the outskirts of Louisville. The district also includes Bowling Green, Elizabethtown and Campbellsville.

Democrats haven’t had much luck in the 2nd District for the past eight elections. The last Democrat to hold the seat was Bill Natcher, who died in office in 1994. Republican Ron Lewis was elected to the seat that November and held it until his retirement in 2008. Guthrie beat Democrat David Boswell to win the seat that November.

Marksberry is an Owensboro home builder and real estate agent and is a member of the executive committee of the Daviess County Democratic Party.

Marksberry said he considers himself “a conservative Democrat, along the lines” of Natcher.

 Marksberry said he is concerned that “the middle class has lost wages and that makes us weaker as a nation.”
“I am working class. I know what it’s like to struggle to make (ends) meet,” Marksberry said.
“The Democratic Party was originally set up for the working class,” he said. “That’s my issue right now — what we can do to strengthen Kentucky families financially.”

If elected, Marksberry said he would take on “spin” generated by Republicans in Washington to voters “are hearing the truth.” Marksberry said Republicans had used “fear mongering” to sway the public debate over the federal health care bill.

Marksberry said, if elected, he would work on issues such as health care, energy and providing services to children and the elderly.

Marksberry said Thursday he did not want to talk specifically about has ideas until his campaign launches its Web site.

“The issues will all come out in due time,” Marksberry said.

Beshear endorses Mongiardo in U.S. Senate race

Gov. Steve Beshear sent out a statement this afternoon endorsing his lieutenant governor, Daniel Mongiardo, in next year’s 2010 U.S. Senate race.

The statement comes several weeks after Beshear met with U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, another Democrat has also said he might be interested in entering the race. Many speculate Attorney General Jack Conway, also a Democrat, will announce in the near future that he’ll be entering the race.

The Republican side of the race also appears to be attracting a crowd, with incumbent Jim Bunning insisting he’s going to seek another term, Secretary of State Trey Grayson saying he’ll enter the race if Bunning drops out, and Kentucky Senate President David Williams rumored to be considering a spot on the ballot.

Here’s today’s statement from Beshear –

“Our country and our Commonwealth face unprecedented economic challenges. Now, more than ever, we need strong representatives in Washington D.C. to give voice to Kentucky priorities and values.

“I believe that my Lieutenant Governor, Daniel Mongiardo, can be that voice and I endorse his candidacy for the United States Senate.

“As a doctor, state senator and, now, as Lieutenant Governor, Daniel has been a leader in the push for e-health technology, a priority he shares with President Barack Obama.

“Daniel has worked tirelessly to promote Kentucky through Adventure Tourism, a potential engine of economic growth worth hundreds of millions of dollars. And he has continued to be a strong voice for Kentucky’s role in solving the country’s energy challenges.

“Those concerns and priorities reflect Kentucky values. They also mirror the priorities being articulated by the Obama administration at this defining hour for our country.

“While I will miss the contributions that Daniel has brought to our team, I know he feels called to service in the U.S. Senate and I support his mission.”

Williams hasn’t made decision on potential U.S. Senate run

Following reports over the weekend that he is considering a run for the U.S. Senate next year, Kentucky Senate President David Williams told reporters this morning that he had made not decision about running for a different office. 

“We’ll just see what the rest of the year brings,” Williams, a Burkesville Republican, told reporters, according to the Herald-Leader. 

The Washington D.C. -based The Hill publication and kypolitics.org are both reporting that Williams met with members of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during his recent trip to D.C.

Williams did say he has been contacted about running for the seat now help by fellow Republican Jim Bunning of Southgate, who has held the seat since 1998, but hasn’t made any decisions about entering the race.

Read more about Williams’s comments at the H-L’s Bluegrass Politics.

“Trading cards” from last Bunning-Mongiardo matchup

The Rothenberg Political Report has a set of “trading cards” on display today from the 2004 U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Jim Bunning and Democrat Daniel Mongiardo produced by Mongiardo’s campaign. 

The set of nine “beanball cards” peg Mongiardo as  a “relief pitcher” while calling Bunning, a baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, a “special interest designated hitter” and “budget buster record breaker,” among other things. 

Given the announcement by Mongiardo, now lieutenant governor, on Monday that he’ll be gunning for Bunning’s seat again next year, we’ll see what other creative campaign fodder makes its way onto the trail. 

Bunning told reporters during a conference call this morning that he will definitely be seeking a third term next year and responded to comments by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell made at the National Press Club last week. 

McConnell “had a lapse of memory when he was speaking to the press club last week when he said he didn’t know what my intentions were,” Bunning told the Herald-Leader. “Whatever Mitch says is whatever he says. He’s the leader of the pack and he can say whatever he wants and get away with it.”

Need a new U.S. Senate race to fill the void?

With Mitch McConnell’s race freshly concluded, speculation has already begun about who the Democrats will field in the race for Kentucky’s other U.S. Senate seat currently held by Jim Bunning

Actually, the speculation began long before Tuesday’s election, even though the Republican Bunning still has two more years on his term. 

Talk at Fancy Farm in August in some circles centered around whether Secretary of State Trey Grayson, a Republican, would run for the seat if Bunning decided not to seek another term. 

And back in June, reporters were already peppering Attorney General Jack Conway, a Democrat who ran for Congress in 2002, about whether he would seek the seat. 

Mark Hebert with WHAS-TV has already caught up with Conway and fellow Democrats Crit Luallen, the state auditor, and Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, who faced Bunning in 2004, about whether they plan to seek the seek in 2010. 

Check out what they had to say.