Kentucky Senate President David Williams and Richie Farmer, the state’s commissioner of agriculture, announced Sept. 1 their bid for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, on a 2011 Republican ticket.
The announcement ended speculation about both men. Williams, as Senate president, wields much power in the legislature. Farmer had been contemplating running for governor himself.
There will be a primary contest next spring. Phil Moffett, a Louisville businessman, and Rep. Mike Harmon form another Republican ticket.
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear will seek re-election in 2011. Beshear and his running mate, Louisville mayor Jerry Abramson, announced their candidacy earlier this year.
Williams in a release said Kentucky is “adrift” and needs strong leadership. Farmer, a former University of Kentucky basketball player, was quoted in recent published reports as saying he is interested in remaining in state government but his “dream job” would be that of UK athletic director.
Williams for years has been at odds with members of the Kentucky horse racing industry over his opposition to alternative gaming at racetracks.