Incumbent legislator bends over for Stumbo
Honestly, we cannot comprehend the fascination Kentucky Democrats have with Greg Stumbo.
Yes, they owe him a debt of gratitude for mortally wounding, politically speaking, Ernie Fletcher. But they really need to take a hard look at the man they're fawning over.
Greg Stumbo is a drunk and a drunken driver. He is an adulterer. He abused his office for political purposes. And he's a deadbeat dad. Do they really want to idolize such a man and put him on a political pedestal?
Since Stumbo chose not to run for re-election as attorney general, instead running on a losing gubernatorial ticket as Bruce Lunsford's running mate, he's been pondering his options. Initially he made a lot of noise about running for the U.S. Senate and fired quite a few shots across Crit Luallen's bow when she was also rumored -- and in many cases, being encouraged -- to be a candidate. In more recent days, he's been talking about trying to return to the Kentucky House of Representatives, where he was a longtime legislator and Democrat leader before being elected attorney general.
Stumbo was succeeded as 95th District representative by Chuck Meade, who was basically Stumbo's hand-picked successor. Meade was subsequently ousted by Brandon Spencer. Both were contemplating the race next year until suddenly, Spencer resigned his House seat yesterday.
This sets in motion a special election that will have to take place sometime in late January or early February, depending on when Gov. Beshear calls for the election, to allow that House district to have representation in the upcoming General Assembly session. The nominee will be chosen by party officials in the district, which consists of most of Floyd County. Those people will have a hard time not choosing Stumbo as the nominee, even though Meade was already an announced candidate for the May primary. This will install Stumbo as an incumbent for the primary, and there will probably be few if any Democrats eager to challenge him. And in that district, any Republican opposition will be token at best.
No doubt House leadership will move Stumbo back into a high position of power once he's there. He may not get the lofty title he once held, but he'll be welcomed back enthusiastically and they will try as best they can to make it as though he was never gone.
We don't know what Spencer may have been offered in exchange for his abrupt and unexpected resignation, but it had to be something sweet. Either that, or Stumbo blackmailed him. Stumbo's dirty laundry is public knowledge and it doesn't seem to bother him, but others aren't quite as shameless.
We'll watch to see how this story develops, but we expect the fix is in to get Stumbo back in the House. Exactly what prompted him to seemingly abandon his Senate run when he seemed so confident a few weeks ago, we don't know, but it appears that special measures are being taken on his behalf to keep him in politics.
We just don't know why, unless it's blind partisan loyalty. If any of us had Stumbo's baggage, we'd move far away to someplace where no one knew us and we'd never try to get involved in public service again.