Hal Heiner leads other Republican candidates for this year’s gubernatorial election, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
The former Louisville Metro Council member leads with 28 percent of the vote in a poll conducted by SurveyUSA for The Courier-Journal, WHAS, the Lexington Herald-Leader and WKYT. The poll surveyed 1,917 registered voters.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Matt Bevin tied for second with 20 percent of the vote. Bevin unsuccessfully ran last year as a tea party candidate in the Republican Senate primary. He was defeated by now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Heiner not only lead in the polls. According to financial disclosures, Heiner’s campaign is also millions of dollars ahead of the other GOP candidates.
According to his latest disclosure, Heiner has almost $3.5 million in his campaign coffers. So far, Heiner has donated more than $4 million of his own money to his campaign.
Greg Blair, Heiner’s new campaign spokesman,, said money and airtime is not what’s driving these numbers, though.
“I don’t think anyone has worked harder than Hal Heiner to get out and talk to people and listen to people and hear what they are concerned about,” Blair said.
He said voters are looking for someone outside of state government to lead the state.
“This poll shows what he’s been hearing across the state, which is that people don’t trust Frankfort and they are looking elsewhere for leadership,” he said.
Blair’s comments draw a distinction between Heiner and Comer, the state’s agriculture commissioner.
Comer has been in office since 2012. His campaign has less than a million dollars on hand, according to his latest financial filings, which could account for some of his lagging in this recent poll.
Comer’s campaign is also going through a bit of a rough patch since his campaign adviser Holly Harris left her position. PageOneKentucky recently posted an invitation to a campaign event for Heiner’s campaign hosted by Harris’ family members.
The recent poll also found former Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott got 8 percent of the vote and 25 percent of those polled were undecided.
However, Kentucky’s Attorney General Jack Conway– the lead candidate for the Democrat ticket–holds a narrow lead against all the GOP candidates.