The two Republican candidates for Kentucky governor are at odds over whether lawmakers should pass a statewide smoking ban in public places.
Louisville businessman Phil Moffett says any smoking ban should be limited to government buildings. The Tea Party candidate contends that private business owners should be allowed to decide whether to prohibit smoking in their establishments and work spaces.
“If you don’t want to work in a restaurant that allows smoking, then go get a job somewhere else. If you want to work in one, then fine. Private property rights should supercede any government authority,” Moffett said.
“Are you kidding me?” responded Williams, who supports a full ban. “With the shortage of jobs, do you think someone should have to quit their job because…the issue of work place safety is concerned?”
Moffett and Williams spoke to reporters after a candidates forum at the Kentucky Press Association convention. Independent gubernatorial candidate Gatewood Galbraith also participated; he agrees with Moffett that private businesses should be exempt from a ban.
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear was invited to the forum but did not attend.
(Pictured, from left: moderator Al Cross and candidates David Williams, Phil Moffett and Gatewood Galbraith)