State Rep. Robert Goforth, R-East Bernstadt, brought his campaign to unseat Gov. Matt Bevin to Bowling Green on Thursday, saying he has the momentum to pull off an upset in Tuesday’s primary.
Accompanied by running mate Mike Hogan, Goforth spoke to media members and a handful of supporters at Fountain Square Park.
Goforth, a pharmacist, said his polling numbers “are surging” days before the primary.
“Kentuckians want to head in a new direction,” he said.
Goforth said he differs with the Republican governor on a variety of issues, including handling of the state’s troubled pension system.
“He’s not been able to get a solution to the pension system ... and he’s lost confidence in the legislature,” he said.
That lost confidence is mutual, he said.
Goforth said Bevin has enriched “a bunch of his friends,” with appointments to state pension boards.
“That should have every taxpayer in Kentucky enraged,” he said.
He also said Bevin’s $215,000 raise – for a total salary of $375,000 – to Army friend Charles Grindle to serve as the state’s chief information was further proof that the governor “is not a fiscal conservative.”
Goforth said he has been bringing his campaign to the people of Kentucky, visiting all 120 counties and publishing his personal phone number for voters to contact him.
“I believe in keeping that relationship” with Kentuckians, he said.
And while Goforth also chided Bevin for his “insults and arrogance,” he fell short of saying he would support the Democratic gubernatorial nominee if Bevin earns the nomination for a second term.
“I would never support a Democrat,” he said, adding that he would rather not discuss a hypothetical. “I’m confident ... people are ready for a change.”
A poll of Republican voters out this week conducted by the Cygnal public opinion firm gives Bevin a 56 percent to 18 percent lead over Goforth.
Along with Goforth, all of the leading Democratic candidates for governor, Adam Edelen, Andy Beshear and Rocky Adkins, have made local campaign appearances. Bevin has not.
The primary is Tuesday with the general election Nov. 5.
– Follow News Director Wes Swietek on Twitter @BGDNgovtbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.