Beshear, Abramson File Candidacy Papers

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and his running mate, Jerry Abramson, are the first gubernatorial slate to officially file for the 2011 election.

The two dropped by the Secretary of State’s office at the State Capitol Thursday to pay their qualifying fees. Beshear says the two won’t do much campaigning until the legislative session ends in late March.       

“I’ve got a full-time job right now, being governor, and the mayor has just given up a fulltime job. And we’ve got a legislative session that’s just cranked up. And there’s no reason for this campaign to start before the legislative session is over with and I’m going to continue to work in that direction,” he said.

The Beshear/Abramson ticket has already raised over $3.5 million. Senate President David Williams, who’s seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination, started fundraising later than Beshear, but has raised over $750,000. Williams’ running mate is Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer.      

Also seeking the office is Republican businessman Phil Moffett of Louisville, Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith, who’s running as an Independent, and Harlan demolition contractor Otis “Bullman” Hensley, who’s running as a Democrat.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.