Fletcher, Beshear exchange barbs at Danville stop

DANVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Ernie Fletcher, speaking Friday in the
central Kentucky town where the state constitution was drafted, harshly criticized his Democratic challenger for wanting to change the historic document to legalize casinos.

"He wants to make sure your kids are blackjack dealers and they can only count to 21," Fletcher said referring to Lexington lawyer Steve Beshear, the Democrat who is running against him for Kentucky's top job in state government.

In campaign rhetoric that has grown increasingly heated, Beshear countered that he wanted to discuss a different constitutional issue - one involving the oath that governors take to uphold the law. The Lexington lawyer reminded a boisterous crowd gathered downtown that Fletcher was indicted last year on charges that he rewarded political supporters with protected state jobs.

"It's time that the word 'illegal' no longer describes the actions of our governor," Beshear said. The candidates spoke on a stage at the Constitution Square State Historic Site where Kentucky's Constitution was drafted and signed in 1792.

Their comments came on a day when a poll conducted by the
Lexington Herald-Leader and WTVQ 36 in Lexington showed Beshear
held a 17-point lead over Fletcher.

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