Beshear likes Fletcher administration's 'Unbridled Spirit'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The words "Kentucky - Unbridled Spirit" have been plastered on everything from billboards to bumper stickers in an initiative by Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration to boost tourism in the state.

And if Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear wins election in November, the Lexington attorney is leaning toward keeping the slogan.

"They spent a lot of money developing that logo and that theme, and, if it's working, I don't see any reason to change it," Beshear told The Associated Press in an interview. "I happen to like the horse-related logo."

The Fletcher administration hired a marketing firm to create the "Unbridled Spirit" brand and to handle a nationwide advertising campaign at a cost of more than $10 million. The firm sought suggested slogans from residents of Kentucky and beyond.

Fletcher campaign manager Marty Ryall said the state has seen a huge increase in tourism since beginning the "Unbridled Spirit" initiative.

"There's no question the "Unbridled Spirit" campaign has been a huge success," Ryall said. "And if Steve Beshear can't find anything negative to say about something the governor has done, then it's been an unqualified success."

Fletcher said Thursday that he is pleased to hear that Beshear likes the "Unbridled Spirit" slogan, but he said he hopes his challenger doesn't get the chance to determine its fate.

"I look forward to continuing it on for the next four years myself," Fletcher said.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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