For liberal Democrats in Kentucky, there aren’t many politicians more respected and beloved than Rep. Jim Wayne from Louisville and former state Auditor Crit Luallen. But in the Senate 19th Democratic primary, they are coming down on different sides, with Wayne supporting Sarah Lynn Cunningham, and Luallen supporting Morgan McGarvey.
LEO Weekly asked both Wayne and Luallen why they made this endorsement.
Here’s Jim Wayne, on Cunningham:
“I’ve worked with her for about 20 years on different legislative projects and I just know how honest she is, and how passionate she is, and intelligent she is. And I just think we need a strong female leader like that in the Senate. I think she’ll be great. I don’t really know the other candidates. Just because someone’s endorsed by a lot of statewide people as a young lawyer doesn’t mean you’re qualified, I don’t know. But I do know her.”
Wayne noted that Cunningham has a good chance to win, despite her fundraising disadvantage, but noted that The Courier-Journal’s endorsement of McGarvey doesn’t help. The C-J endorsement said Cunningham and McGarvey were the top two candidates, but what set McGarvey apart was his “unequivocal support” for the Bridges Project, and Cunninghman’s skepticism and caution. Wayne disagrees with that opinion:
“Well I have a similar position. I just think that when the powers that be in this town ramrod a big project, you better watch out. You better put the skids on it and pay attention to unintended consequences. And I base that on my experiences working with the Airport Authority in my district, when they ramrodded that thing through, lied and manipulated to get their job done, until we put the skids on it for them with the Airport Neighbors Alliance and exposed their Machiavellian techniques. That’s based on my history, and I think Sarah Lynn’s got the right position. She’s not against it, but she says that we have to look at all the unintended consequences and make sure we’re doing this in a way that we can be proud of.”
Here’s what Crit Luallen told LEO about her support of McGarvey:
“First of all, I have had the opportunity to work very closely with Morgan in Ben Chandler’s gubernatorial campaign, as well as more recently in the Jack Conway US Senate race. So I have come to know Morgan personally and I have great respect for his intellect and for his leadership ability. And I believe he has the kind of personality and commitment and approach that can be very successful in the legislature.”
“I say that because I have been, as you know, around Frankfort for a long time. I’ve worked with six governors before I was elected to statewide office myself. And as I’ve watched the General Assembly in recent years, I think we are desperately in need of more legislators who are not only committed to the causes they belief in, but are also skilled at actually trying to appreciate and respect the other person’s opinion and form relationships and alliances that can actually get things done. I think so often now we are bogged down in partisan bickering and debates that are really more about assigning the credit or the blame than they are about actually moving the state forward. And I think Morgan McGarvey brings a unique set of skills to this particular time in the Kentucky General Assembly, and I think we need his kind of energy, his kind of commitment, his kind of understanding of the legislative process.”
If you’re still trying to decide who to pick in this race (including the Fairness Campaign-endorsed Amy Shoemaker and golf instructor Gary Demling), check out the first three parts of our interview with all for candidates,the fourth of which will be up on Fatlip tomorrow morning.