AG candidates tussle over lead

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Gatewood Galbraith says he's gaining ground in the race for state attorney general.

His opponent, Greg Stumbo, says he's not.

That was just one issue the candidates went head to head on Wednesday during a Kentucky State University sponsored candidate forum. Jack Wood, a Republican from Louisville, was a no-show at the event, leaving the debate to Galbraith, who's running as an independent, and Stumbo, a Democrat from Prestonsburg.

Galbraith, a Lexington attorney, told the audience he's catching up in the race for the state's top law enforcement officer. He made repeated references to a poll taken at Lexington Community College, which gauged Galbraith had the support of 26 percent of those surveyed.

"It's a famous poll," said Galbraith, following a candidate forum. "I'm closing in."

Stumbo, majority floor leader, downplayed the college survey. He said the LCC poll isn't scientific, and statewide polls have cast the veteran legislator as the runaway leader in the race.

"That's more consistent with the polling we've done," said Stumbo.

Nonetheless, Stumbo was noticeably agitated by Galbraith's repeated references to the LCC poll, often shrugging or interjecting the survey wasn't statewide. At one point, Stumbo's wife, Mary Karen, even shouted from the audience the poll wasn't legitimate.

Other topics ranged from fighting drug abuse to consumer protection, to the Patriot Act during the one-hour debate held in the Academic Services Building auditorium. More than 100 students, professors, public officials and local residents were on hand.

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