Fletcher, Beshear to Face Off in November General Election

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By ROGER ALFORD
Associated Press Writer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Ernie Fletcher overcame a troublesome political scandal to win the Republican nomination in his bid for re-election, accomplishing what some critics had thought impossible.

Fletcher, who was indicted last May in an alleged scheme to reward political supporters with protected state jobs, withstood challenges by former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup of Louisville and millionaire businessman Billy Harper of Paducah.

With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Fletcher had 94,609 votes or 51 percent, to Northup's 66,554 votes or 36 percent. Harper had 24,273 votes or 13 percent.

Fletcher's November opponent will be former Lt. Gov. Steve Beshear, who emerged from a crowded Democratic field and avoided a June 26 runoff that would have been triggered if no candidate got at least 40 percent.

"Well I guess we've answered the electability question," a beaming Fletcher said at his victory party, referring to statements made by both GOP challengers that he couldn't win re-election.

Northup called him shortly before 9 p.m. EDT to congratulate him on the victory.

"He'll go into the election with broad support across the state," Northup said of Fletcher.

The fractious GOP primary brightened Democrats' hopes of recapturing the governor's office.

Most observers predicted the crowded race would go to a June 26 runoff, but Beshear narrowly avoided it.

Besides Beshear, the primary involved three major Democratic candidates: millionaire businessman Bruce Lunsford, House Speaker Jody Richards and former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry. Two other Democrats, Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith and Harlan County demolition contractor Otis Hensley, ran limited campaigns.

With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Beshear had 135,046 votes or 41 percent to Lunsford's 70,188 votes or 21 percent. Henry had 55,146 votes or 17 percent and Richards had 42,938 votes or 13 percent.


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  • by MICHAEL W Location: LIBERTY KY on May 27, 2007 at 12:35 PM
    way to go ernie fletcher i guess the lunsford stumbo plan for change went up in smoke so on to november to try to win again
  • by RYAN Location: LANCASTER on May 24, 2007 at 07:04 AM
    I NOTICE HOW MOST OF THE COMMENTS BY THE DEMS ON THIS PAGE ARE RECYCLED TV ADS. YOU ALL SOUND THE SAME WHETHER IT BE GOVERNORS RACE OR FEDERAL GOVT. RACE WHEN ARE YOU DEMS GOING TO GET A PLATFORM. HECK YOU GET CONGRESS AND NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE. APPROVAL RATING LESS THAN THE PRESIDENT'S. YEAH WE REALY NEED DEMS RUNNING THINGS. WE'LL ALL BE OUT OF JOBS AND ON THE DOLE. THAT'S A REAL LIFE YEAH.
  • by Robbie Location: Pikeville on May 23, 2007 at 08:32 PM
    It is time for a change Ernie is not holding up his end of the deal !
  • by Ethan Location: Irvine on May 23, 2007 at 07:50 PM
    Congratulations Governor Fletcher! You have proven that campaigning on the issues and accomplishments of your administration resonates with the people of Kentucky. I cant wait until November when Kentucky Wins with Ernie Fletcher and Robbie Rudolph.
  • by Sherry Location: Nicholasville on May 23, 2007 at 03:19 PM
    Well, the traitor, Steve Pence, helped his candidate lose the race for Governor with his nasty, untruthful comments. Guess he will think TWICE about that again. And, Bruce Lunsford could possibly have won the Democratic nod, had he NOT asked the Polital Hack, STUMBO to be his running mate. Yesterday's Primary Election has restored my faith in the voters of Kentucky, and when we work hard to re-elect the BEST governor in MANY, MANY YEARS...ERNIE FLETCHER.....in November.....it will restore it to the fullest. Let's go everyone and start the campaign trail to re-elect a real man for Governor....ERNIE FLETCHER!!!!
  • by Pat Location: Lexington on May 23, 2007 at 12:33 PM
    No Jason, he is not only a doctor, but he is also a minister with no church and a fighter pilot who kept the Viet Cong out of Kentucky and now he is a politican. I see a pattern here, he can't seem to keep a job!
  • by Jason Location: Lexington on May 23, 2007 at 11:29 AM
    Fletcher is not a career politician, he is a doctor who got pulled into politics by those around him, and decided to do it to make changes, which he has
  • by Joe Location: Lexington on May 23, 2007 at 11:18 AM
    Please Spike Lee; learn to type without your caps lock on. It is very irritating. I don't like either Beshear or Fletcher; career politicians don't enthuse me one bit. And yes Ron, he does look like Mr. Burns.
  • by Alex Bowen Location: Martin County, KY on May 23, 2007 at 09:32 AM
    I am very glad that Democrats have come togather all across the stase and showed that they mean business. This showes that Kentucky is in need of change and fast. If Democrats stay togather kentucky will win. Congrats. to Steve Beshear
  • by Ron Location: Paintsville on May 23, 2007 at 08:38 AM
    Is it just me or does Steve Beshear look like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons?
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