Days after the Kentucky Derby another horse race is on the mind of Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, according to multiple sources.
Conway is expected to announce his bid for governor this week, possibly as early as Tuesday.
Those familiar with the decision have leaked that he has plucked state Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, as a running mate.
Conway is a Louisville Democrat who was first elected attorney general in 2007.
Losing to Rand Paul in 2010 U.S. Senate race, many wondered if Conway was going to seek re-election. But after winning easily in the 2011 race, Conway’s name shot to the top of the rumor mill for governor.
He purportedly holds the highest name recognition among the potential candidates on his side of the aisle.
Many believe the pairing with Overly, who is from central Kentucky, will make Conway a more palpable contender across the state. She is also the first female leader in history elected to a leadership position in the Kentucky House.
Two months ago, Conway made national headlines when he declined to appeal a federal judge’s ruling striking down Kentucky’s ban on out-of-state gay marriages. That angered many conservative proponents of traditional marriage in both parties.
Though same-sex marriage isn’t expected to be a top issue in next year’s race, state Rep. Gerald Watkins, D-Paducah, told WFPL in March that Conway’s decision will hurt his gubernatorial bid in rural parts of the state.
Others such as House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, have voiced more practical concerns. Stumbo advised that no Democrat should announce until the conclusion of the 2014 Senate and state legislative races.
If Conway does jump in, his would be the first Democratic ticket in the still too early 2015 gubernatorial race.
Other rumored candidates include State Auditor Adam Edelen, former Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo and former Congressman Ben Chandler. Former State Auditor Crit Luallen, a friend of Conway’s, said last month she would not seek the governor’s office next year.
Louisville Republican Hal Heiner jumped in the governor’s race joined by former Lexington councilwoman K.C. Crosbie.