Republicans await returns in KY primary election

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Republican David Williams is trying to
survive a primary election season filled with potential political
bombshells to capture the GOP gubernatorial nomination and the
right to challenge a popular Democratic incumbent in the fall.

Williams, the often prickly state Senate president, faces
Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and Jefferson County Clerk
Bobbie Holsclaw in Tuesday's voting.

The winner will likely be in for a rough and tumble general
election campaign against Gov. Steve Beshear, who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Williams, the state's best known anti-gambling advocate, was
dealt a particularly troubling setback late in the campaign when a
judge unsealed financial documents in a decade-old divorce case
that showed he had a history of casino gambling. In a Bible-belt
state like Kentucky, the juxtaposition could turn off conservative
Christians, a key voting bloc for the GOP.

Having raised $1.2 million, Williams was the only Republican
with enough money for a television advertising campaign. His TV ads
were positive, showing him happy and smiling and promising brighter
times ahead if he's elected governor.

Democratic leaders were targeting Williams long before the
primary, calling on him to release his income tax returns as
Beshear has already done.

In a news conference Monday, Democratic state Sen. Kathy Stein
asked what Williams has to hide by not releasing his tax
information. Williams, however, said he releases his financial
information on legislative disclosure forms and that he considers
it unnecessary to provide more information.

Williams' running mate, former University of Kentucky basketball
star Richie Farmer, had problems of his own. Farmer's wife,
Rebecca, filed for divorce last month without giving a reason,
triggered a whisper campaign fueled by speculation about the cause
of the split.

Moffett and Holsclaw were careful not to make the pending
divorce an issue, adhering to Richie Farmer's request to respect
his family's privacy.

Farmer asked in a motion last month that the divorce petition be
dismissed, but, if not, that he receive joint custody of their
three children.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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