LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Republican David Williams shrugged off
gloomy poll numbers in a fast-paced campaign finale Monday, keeping up his blistering criticism of Gov. Steve Beshear to the end while insisting his own conservative credentials have him poised to pull an upset in Tuesday's election.
Williams, the state Senate president who wants to move to the
governor's mansion, discounted a string of polls that showed the
Democratic incumbent with a commanding double-digit lead in a
three-way race also featuring independent Gatewood Galbraith.
"Polls are just estimations, and the turnout will make a
difference," Williams said in delivering an upbeat message to
supporters at the start of a fly-around taking him to seven cities
across Kentucky. "Polls can be thrown out of the window."
Beshear, a seasoned campaigner seeking a second term as
Kentucky's governor, had only one public campaign event planned
Monday - an evening rally with the rest of his party's ticket in
Louisville, a key Democratic stronghold.
Beshear basked in his role as the sitting governor at an event
Monday in Somerset, where helped announce $1 million in Appalachian Regional Commission grants.
Democrats are harboring hopes that Beshear will deliver long
coattails that help carry fellow Democrats to victory in the other
races for statewide constitutional officers.
Kentuckians will also be voting for attorney general, secretary
of state, auditor, treasurer and agriculture commissioner in the
off-year election. Polls will open at 6 a.m. local time and close
at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Kentucky Secretary of State Elaine Walker,
the state's chief election officer, has said as few as one-fourth
of registered voters may end up going to the polls.
Williams stayed on the offensive during a morning campaign stop
in Louisville, accusing the incumbent of having no plan to create
jobs or improve education. The challenger said Beshear has glossed
over a bleak outlook for the state budget.
"Gov. Beshear has been untruthful and has tried to mislead the
people of this state, claiming that he has balanced this budget,"
Williams said, claiming the governor has no plan to rescue Kentucky
from looming budget problems.
State Sen. Bob Leeper of Paducah, chairman of the Senate budget
committee, has said he expects a state general fund deficit of at
least $337 million in the fiscal year beginning next July 1, The
Courier-Journal of Louisville reported in its Monday editions.
Leeper is an independent who caucuses with Republicans who
control the Senate.
Democratic Rep. Rick Rand, who chairs the House budget
committee, has a somewhat brighter outlook but told the Louisville
newspaper that the state's next two-year budget will be tight and
the state will have to "hold the line on spending."
Beshear has widely touted his budget-balancing credentials as
Kentucky has tried to rebound from a severe national recession. The
sour economy has resulted in stubbornly high unemployment and
sluggish tax collections in Kentucky.
Beshear boasts that he has balanced the state budget nine times
since he took office in 2007 by cutting spending.
"Sen. Williams' accusation is another desperate comment made by
a candidate facing an embarrassing and historic loss at the polls
tomorrow," said Beshear campaign spokesman Matt Erwin.
Williams made other stops Monday in Lexington, Hazard,
Owensboro, Paducah and Bowling Green before wrapping up his
campaign with a rally in his hometown of Burkesville in southern
"If pro-life voters get out, if people get out that want to
have a conservative governor that's right on the social issues,
that has a real plan for real jobs, then we'll win this election
tomorrow," Williams said.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)