A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Democrat Rocky Adkins files paperwork to run for governor; announcement today in Morehead

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The element of surprise is gone from Democratic House Leader Rocky Adkins’ “special announcement” today in Morehead.

As most suspected anyway, Adkins is running for governor.

An examination of Kentucky Registry of Election Finance records shows a filing for a gubernatorial slate consisting of the Sandy Hook Democrat, along with Stephanie Horne, an outgoing member of the Jefferson County Board of Education, who has long been rumored to be a running mate if Adkins ran for governor.

Rocky Adkins (Photo by Tom Latek)

Such a filing with the Registry is needed before a candidate or a slate, which is required in the gubernatorial race, can legally begin fundraising.

Adkins’ announcement takes place at the Morehead Conference Center, 111 E. First St. in Morehead at 4:30 pm, EST.

In January, Adkins told Kentucky Today he had the backing of his family should he decide to run for governor in 2019.

“It’s a must that they be on board, and they are,” he said. “This is a statewide race, and it’s one that takes tremendous commitment to get into.”

He also declined to announce whether he would run for Governor in 2019 until after the 2018 General Election, saying at the time he was concentrating on helping Democrats win in November, and chided Attorney General Andy Beshear, also an announced candidate for governor along with running mate Jacqueline Coleman, a Nelson County educator, for campaigning while the 2018 election cycle was still underway. 

“Beshear’s fundraising tactics are hurting every local, state legislative and congressional Democratic candidate across Kentucky and could be the critical difference for many,” Adkins said.

Adkins grew up in Elliott County and played basketball at Morehead State University. When he was a senior in 1983, the Eagles won the Ohio Valley Conference Championship and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament before losing to sixth-seeded Syracuse in the opening round.

He followed his father’s footsteps into high school coaching for a short time before getting into politics.

Adkins has been state representative for the 99th House District since 1986 when he was elected as a 26-year-old. He is the House Democratic Floor Leader after serving as the Majority Floor Leader of the House from 2003 until two years ago when Republicans took control.

Stephanie Horne

Adkins has been a constant and open critic of Gov. Matt Bevin and the GOP making laws that are tough on unions and for making changes to the pension systems without an actuarial analysis.

Horne is a real estate attorney who owns Horne Title in Louisville, with a career spanning more than two decades. She negotiates contracts, manages a staff and budget, works with the public, and manages large amounts of client funds every day.

According to her biography on the Jefferson County Public Schools website, Horne is the wife of United States Marine Corps veteran Andrew Horne.  She and her husband both attended public schools. They have been married 25 years and have two children who are graduates of JCPS schools.

Other Democrats who have expressed an interest in the Governor’s office include Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, former State Auditor Adam Edelen and State Rep. Attica Scott of Louisville.

Mark Nickolas, the campaign manager for Amy McGrath who lost to Andy Barr in the 6th District U.S. Congressional race last week, said McGrath should consider a run at the Governor’s office.

Bevin announced he will seek re-election but hasn’t yet filed with the Registry, nor has he committed to keeping Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton on the ticket.

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