The 2015 Kentucky gubernatorial contests could see its first official candidate enter the race this week
Republican Hal Heiner is scheduled to announce his intentions at a press conference scheduled for Tuesday morning in Lexington with a follow-up in Louisville.
Heiner is a former Louisville mayoral candidate and Metro Council member who recently launched a new group dedicated to helping the GOP gain a majority in the state House.
Sources close to Heiner have said he will jump in the race with former Lexington city-county council member K.C. Crosbie as his running mate. Crosbie ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer three years ago.
Other rumored GOP candidates for governor include Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and former U.S. Ambassador to Latvia Cathy Bailey.
On the Democratic side possible contenders include Attorney General Jack Conway, State Auditor Adam Edelen and former auditor Crit Luallen.
Critics have said it is too early for any candidate to jump in the 2015 contest, especially given the 2014 Senate race. Still, Heiner, a Louisville businessman, has been touring the state touting his position on charter schools and other initiatives to get an early start.
A GOP pollster showed Comer with a commanding 28-point lead over Heiner in a primary election. The survey of 400 Republican voters did not include the questions asked or the methodology used, however.
The poll found Heiner with an 11-point lead over Comer in the Louisville area by trailing 42-to-14 percent overall. Heiner’s advisors argue Comer should be above the 50 percent margin given he is a statewide official.