Forum features gubernatorial hopefuls

The next governor of Kentucky will be elected this fall. Who do you want to see hold the position of Kentucky’s highest elected official? The Student Government Association would like to help you make an educated decision when voting later this year.

Northern Kentucky University will host the Gubernatorial Candidates Forums on April 9 and 10 at Regents Hall. On these two nights, voters will have the opportunity to meet Democratic and Republican candidates for governor and question them on important local issues.

These forums are the first of their kind in Northern Kentucky. They are the only free general gubernatorial forums that will be held in the area.

The Democratic candidates will appear on Wednesday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. Slated to appear are Bruce Lunsford and Speaker of the House Jody Richards. There may also be other last-minute candidates appearing, according to Student Government Association President Katie Herschede.

The Republican candidates will appear on Thursday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. Rebecca Jackson, Congressman Ernie Fletcher, State Representative Steve Nunn and Senator Virgil Moore will attend.

About 4,000 local elected officials and community and business leaders have been invited, as well as, NKU students and local residents.

“This event is another example of NKU’s commitment to engaging the Northern Kentucky community in dialogue that will help shape the future of this region and of the Commonwealth,” Herschede said.

The event is co-sponsored by the NKU Student Government Association, the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement and the NKU political science Department. If next week’s forums go well, Herschede said that SGA hopes to bring the Democratic and Republican primary winners back to campus in September or October for a debate.

Dr. Dean Minix, chair of the political science department, will host both nights of the event.

“We’re lucky to host the forum,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to showcase the university to the next Kentucky governor. I’m honored to host [the event.].”

One major point highlighted by both Minix and Herschede was funding. Minix said NKU is the most under-funded university in the state.

Herschede’s goal is to “make clear to those who seek state leadership that it makes no sense to have the least-funded university reside in one of the state’s largest economic engines.”

“All Northern Kentucky citizens must rally at these events to show that we care about the next governor’s commitment to Northern Kentucky,” added Herschede. “We cannot depend on someone else to do it for us.”