Kentucky Governor Candidate Speaks to Farm Managers

Kentucky Attorney General Ben Chandler, who is running as the Democrat candidate for Governor of the state, said he is in favor of expanded gaming in the state and would support sending the issue to a vote of the population by way of a constitutional amendment. Chandler made those remarks while speaking to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club on Tuesday.

"I am very interested in the horse industry," Chandler said. "I hope as governor to have positive impact on the state's signature industry and one issue I am very much in favor of, if done correctly, is that of expanded gaming. And this is not a position that I take lightly."

Chandler called the issue of expanded gaming dangerous and said safeguards must be established to ensure that full-blown casinos are not allowed.

"In the beginning you would have to determine what percentage of the money goes to what entities," Chandler said. " I am not interested in what happens at the racetracks. I am interested in what happens to the farms. I would like to see some sort of a breeders' reward program established and I see no reason why this could not be a successful program."

Chandler said the importance of the Thoroughbred industry to the state of Kentucky would be a huge selling point in the rally of support for expanded gaming.

He also said the fact that huge amounts of gaming money are being spent in Illinois and Indiana to pay for their education and road programs would aid in the push for gaming.

"We are at a crossroads. We can continue to lose a great deal of our industry to other states or turn this around by increasing the viability of our industry," he said.

Besides gaming, Chandler said he was in favor of such issues as the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program in order for Central Kentucky to maintain green space and the repeal of sales tax on stallion fees.

Republican candidate and current U.S. Representative Ernie Fletcher will speak to the membership at the October meeting.