It's a happy night for grandson of legendary governor

By GAYLE COULTER State Journal Staff Writer Published:

There was no doubt Ben Chandler was the of the man of the hour Tuesday night when he stepped to the forefront of the Democratic party as its nominee for the gubernatorial election.

But the theme song from "Rocky" playing in anticipation of Chandler's leap to the stage to make his acceptance speech reminded supporters of the battle he'd faced to get there.

Chandler managed to survive what Harold Robinson, chairman of the Franklin County Democratic Party, called the most negative campaign attack he'd seen in 30 years.

Bruce Lunsford, who many Chandler supporters say started the negative campaigning between the two, surprised many by dropping out of the race Friday.

Lunsford blamed a negative attack ad from the Chandler campaign that portrayed him as someone responsible for mistreatment of a nursing home patient for forcing him out of the race. Lunsford, who by that point had spent nearly $8 million of his own money to finance his campaign, urged his supporters to vote for Jody Richards, speaker of the House, and Tony Miller, his running mate.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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