Dear all erstwhile governor candidates, and anyone thinking of running for any state-wide office in 2019: Please wait to announce until November 7, 2018.

Yes, I should have written this a few weeks ago, and No, it’s not aimed at Andy Beshear, even though he has already announced. To be honest, I thought about this before his accouncement, after interviewing Greg Stumbo. More on that in a moment.

Why is it so important for all our potential governor candidates to wait? Very simple – we have an election THIS FALL that is critical in more ways than one:

  1. We need to take back at least the Kentucky House, to put some brakes on the eco-cons and theo-cons as they push through their con-agenda.
  2. We need to at least one chamber to help support a Democratic governor after one is elected in 2019.
  3. And, most importantly – and yes, this is actually more important than either 1 or 2 – we need at hold control in at least one chamber to prevent being gerrymandered out of existence in the redistricting of 2020.

What will happen if our state-wide candidates don’t wait? They will suck all the air out of the room – AND all the money out of people’s pocketbooks. We’ve already got the Koch Brothers pledging to spend millions in Kentucky this fall to hold onto the state. It’s critical that every available dollar be spent on 2018 elections, and not on 2019 primaries.

I was reminded of this when I interviewed Greg Stumbo for our podcast. (You should listen to the whole thing; it’s a good interview.) He said in the interview that the Dem leadership tried to get a certain governor candidate to wait to announce until after that fall’s elections, but that the candidate didn’t listen. As a result, that candidate raised money before the fall elections that could have gone to some House and Senate races, and might have made a difference in the outcomes of those races. (If you want to know which candidate, you have to listen to the podcast. 😉)

So, to AG Beshear: Please ask your donors to hold their money and time to give to you until after the fall election, AND ask them to write a check to Dem candidates running this year.

And to all other governor candidates: Just wait. Put your focus on this fall, and get out and stump for candidates all across the state. If you want to be a leader in 2019, be a servant in 2018.

State-wide Dem candidates: We have an election to win this fall, and need you to focus on that right now. If you want to be a leader in 2019, you have to be a servant in 2018.Click To Tweet


Bruce Maples
Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. He has been President, Vice-President, and Treasurer of the Metro Democratic Club, and has served on the Democratic Party Executive Committee in Louisville. He began blogging in 2004, and currently operates two personal blogs ( and He founded Forward Kentucky in the wake of the state elections in 2015, and expanded it in the summer of 2016. He has lived in Louisville since 1992 with his wife and two sons.