Supporters pay tribute to Gatewood Galbraith

By: Gabriel Roxas Email
By: Gabriel Roxas Email

For decades he brought a unique flavor to Kentucky politics while also making waves as an activist and a lawyer.

Gatewood Galbraith is being remembered as a man who did so much to help others. He was found dead in his Lexington home this morning. The coroner says the 64-year-old died of complications from chronic emphysema. Wednesday night dozens of people paid tribute to Galbraith at one of his favorite places in Lexington.

Gatewood Galbraith was a regular customer at Perkins Restaurant for nearly twenty years, sometimes eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner there. It was also the site of meet-ups for many of his political campaigns, so it was only fitting that supporters would meet-up one last time to say goodbye.

The flag outside Perkins Restaurant hangs at half-mast, and the corner booth where Gatewood Galbraith ate many meals is empty. Waiters who came to know the candidate as a regular found themselves serving many of the people who followed Galbraith and whom he sought to serve in public office.

"I think he's got a good living legacy," supporter Ginny Saville said, "You know, he's really made his mark on the world."

"Gatewood, I think, appealed to everyone because he spoke about liberty," supporter Mica Sims said.

Regardless of what office he sought, over the years, many of the people at the informal gathering at Perkins stood ready to fight for him. Most recently, his 2011 race for governor gave supporters hope he might achieve the dream that always eluded him.

"It's a huge loss," former running mate Dea Riley said earlier in the day, "Today I feel lonely, and I've lost my partner." Riley says despite the attention he received, the public barely knew him. "Gatewood was a phenomenal constitutional scholar. He was a wonderful father, a wonderful grandfather. The whole person that made up Gatewood, I think that if everybody had had the same opportunity I did to really know the entirety of the person, then certainly you would have run to the voting booth to have elected him."

Now as his supporters pause to pay their respects, they also look to continue what Galbraith began. "The great thing about Gatewood is that he started a conversation that Kentucky is going to have to finish," Riley said.

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