LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - Former Louisville metro councilman Hal Heiner made a stop in Laurel County Tuesday as part of his quest to become Kentucky's next governor.
Heiner and running mate K.C. Crosbie, a former Lexington councilwoman and fellow Republican, spoke to a crowd of about 100 people at the London Community Center.
Heiner said his goal, if elected, is for Kentucky to be one of the 10 most business-friendly states in the country within the first two years of his administration.
"We need to be the best place for a small business to start," Heiner said. "Other states have small business incentives that help keep the load of taxation off the backs of those businesses when they're in growth mode. We need to have the same thing here in Kentucky."
Heiner was the Republican nominee for Louisville mayor in 2010 and is a millionaire businessman.
He loaned his campaign four million dollars - an act that prompted Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who is weighing a GOP gubernatorial run, to accuse Heiner of trying to "buy the governor's race."
"It takes grass roots support from individual voters, and I feel that I have that grassroots support and Heiner does not," Comer told the Courier Journal. "Based on the lack of individual donors, the only person invested in Heiner is Heiner."
Heiner responded to Comer's comments Tuesday, telling WYMT, "I'm thankful my business has been successful and I'm willing to invest it in Kentucky. We all know these races tend to get more and more expensive."
Heiner used Tuesday's stop to talk about issues closely watched by people in Eastern Kentucky, including new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency that target coal-fired power plants.
"It may involve legal action from a states right's arguments, but you have to push back," Heiner said. "You just can't sit here and take it."
Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway is also running for governor and announced Tuesday he has raised $750,000 for his campaign.