By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Democrats and Republicans gathered together for the annual Democrat Women’s fish fry Thursday night, to talk about the state of the state.
Among those present for the rally was current State Auditor Adam Edelen. Edelen addressed the crowd concerning next year’s election, stating that he was debating between a second term as State Auditor or tossing his hat in as a Democratic nominee for the Governor’s race.
“We have till the end of the year to decide,” Edelen said.
In a private interview, Edelen said his look at the special district reform has put Kentucky as a national leader in that area, winning the National Excellence Award on Special Districts. Edelen also launched the investigation into former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer’s financial disbursements and hiring practices during his stint in state office.
“I’m the taxpayer watch dog for the state,” Edelen said. “We made great achievements with the special districts. I don’t want to just be known as “The Guy Who Busted Richie Farmer.”
Despite his achievements as State Auditor, Edelen said he has been approached by both Democrats and Republicans about entering the 2014 Gubernatorial race. As former Chief of Staff for Beshear, Edelen is confident that he has the qualifications to serve all Kentuckians, regardless of political party preference.
“The people want an efficient and effective responsible government,” Edelen said, “and a lot of Republicans and Democrats have approached me about that.”
Also speaking at Thursday’s rally was Joey Taylor, a native Laurel Countian who is launching his bid for state representative. A 2009 graduate of North Laurel High School, Taylor showed his enthusiasm to represent his hometown that has been split into five districts.
“The last Laurel County representative we had in Frankfort was in 1996,” Taylor said. “If elected I will put Laurel County first on the agenda.”
Amie Hacker, who opposed Republican Senator Albert Robinson for a seat in Frankfort, did not disclose her future political plans publicly other than to say, “Never say never. What I can say is “coming soon to a voting booth near you is Amie Hacker, Part 2.”
Local attorney Steve Jones also made his bid for Laurel/Knox county Family Court Judge, a position currently filled by Durenda Lundy Lawson, who is also rumored to re-run for that job next year.
As the U.S. Senate race heats up between long-time Congressman Mitch McConnell and current Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundegren Grimes, Grimes’ father spoke on her behalf.
Although Kentucky usually hosts an annual election in May and November, 2013 is one of those years when no elections are held. However, candidates are gearing up for the upcoming year, already campaigning as the deadline to file draws nearer.
The fish fry is a fundraiser for the Laurel County Democratic Women’s organization and is held at the Laurel-London Optimist Club.